John Chaney, 89, Temple basketball master, dies

PHILADELPHIA (AP) John Chaney, one of the country’s leading black coaches and a commander during a Hall of Fame basketball career in Temple, has died. He was 89 years old.

His death was announced by the university on Friday.

Chaney led Temple to 17 NCAA tournaments in 24 seasons, including five NCAA regional finals. Chaney had 741 victories as a college coach. He was twice named Coach of the Year and his Temple team won six Atlantic 10 conference titles.

He became a de facto father to dozens of his players, many coming to the temple from broken homes, violent upbringing and poor schools. He often said that his biggest goal was simply to give poor children a chance to get an education.

Chaney was an impressive presence on the court – restless, cranky, his otherwise natty clothes tangled at the end of the game. When he called on his team, he often found himself in situations that he later regretted. He was known for a fiery temper – sending a player to a game in 2005 to commit hard fouls. Chaney served a suspension and apologized.

In 1994, he had a fierce exchange after a game against UMass where he threatened to kill coach John Calipari. Chaney apologized and was suspended for a game. The two later became friends.

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