Legendary Temple Owls men’s basketball coach John Chaney died Friday morning after a short illness at the age of 89, the university announced.
Chaney won the NCAA Division II title as the head coach of Cheyney State in 1978 and coached at Temple for 24 years (1982-2006). He compiled a 741-312 record at the collegiate level and won six Atlantic 10 regular-season titles with the Owls.
“John Chaney was a great coach, but he was so much more,” Temple president Richard M. Englert said in a statement. “For generations of Temple University students, he was a wise counselor, a dedicated teacher, an icon of success, and a passionate leader who always led by example and with conviction.”
He led Temple to 17 NCAA tournament appearances and advanced to the Elite Eight five times. In 1988, the year the Owls entered the tournament as the No. 1 overall seed, Chaney won consensus Coach of the Year honors. He was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
“Coach Chaney was like a father to me,” said current Temple men’s basketball coach Aaron McKie. “He taught not just me, but all of his players more than just how to succeed in basketball. He taught us life lessons to make us better individuals off the court. I owe so much to him. He made me the man I am today.”
Chaney is a member of the Big 5 Hall of Fame, which honors the greats among Philadelphia basketball schools Temple, St. Joseph’s, Penn, Villanova and La Salle.