Temple’s Chaney ready to call it quits
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Legendary Temple men’s basketball head
coach John Chaney announced his retirement at a press conference on Monday.
Before a room that gave Chaney a round of applause at every opportunity it
could, the coach made the announcement, adding he will not coach Temple’s
National Invitation Tournament opener against Akron on Tuesday, citing that he
will be dealing with a personal problem, believed to related to his wife
Chaney will leave a sport where he has compiled a 741-311 career record in 34
years as a head coach. This season, the Owls are 17-14.
“I don’t want to see a long parade of going around and celebrating…just do
your job and just go on with your life,” Chaney said. “When you look at your
life and put it in the right perspectives…you walk through that door and
keep on moving.”
Chaney, in a loose tie and sunglasses, stayed true to those words as he spent
a majority of time talking about Temple’s impact on the city of Philadelphia
as opposed to his impact at Temple.
It is currently unknown who will take over for Chaney at Temple, although
director of athletics Bill Bradshaw said that a search would begin
“I’m hoping this university stays its course,” said Chaney when asked if he
would have input on the next coach. “You’ve got to have a Temple person who
knows this university. I’m going to submit a couple of names and I hope those
names get looked at.”
The 74-year-old Chaney has spent the last 24 seasons with the Owls, where he
has posted a 516-252 mark. Temple’s upcoming participation in the National
Invitation Tournament will mark the 23rd straight postseason for the Owls.
Seventeen of those have been in the NCAA Tournament.
Chaney joined the Owls in 1982 after spending 10 years with Division II
Cheyney State College. In just two seasons under his guidance, Temple reached
the NCAA Tournament, the first of five straight appearances, which was capped
with a regional final showing in 1988. Chaney’s other tournament
accomplishments include a school-record of 12 straight appearances in the “Big
Dance” from 1990 through 2001.
The Temple icon has reached many milestones during his tenure with the Owls.
During the 1998-99 season, Chaney surpassed Harry Litwack as the school’s all-
time winningest basketball coach after his 373rd victory, which came one game
before collecting his 600th career coaching victory.
In 2003, Chaney became the 19th Division I coach to be on the bench for 1,000
games and his win total currently ranks him 13th all-time among Division I
coaches. He has been named Atlantic-10 Coach of the Year five times and also
captured the AP Coach of the Year honor in 1988 after his Owls finished the
’87-88 campaign with a 32-2 record.
Among active Division I coaches, Chaney is one of just six to have 700 wins.
“I will be here and be around, watching over you,” said the 2001 Basketball
Hall of Fame inductee. “You can bet on that. I’ll find a way to get some
peanuts and take some beer and tell some lies.”
Last season, however, Chaney’s mark took a rare negative hit. He came under
fire after his actions during a game against conference foe Saint Joseph’s
toward the end of the 2004-05 season, in which he admittedly sent in “the
goons” in response to what he believed were illegal Hawks screens that were
not being called by the officials.
Then Saint Joseph’s senior John Bryant suffered a broken arm as a result of a
hard foul by Temple’s seldom-used Nehemiah Ingram, who fouled out of the game
in just four minutes. Afterward, Chaney said he was “sending a message.”
Chaney imposed a one-game suspension on himself, but Temple later sat the
coach for the school’s entire run of the Atlantic-10 Conference Tournament,
which lasted just two games after a win over Dayton was followed by a loss to
The Jacksonville native began his coaching career in 1963 at Sayre Junior High
School and spent three years before taking over at Simon Gratz High School. In
1972 he moved into the college ranks by taking over at Cheyney State and led
the school to a 225-59 mark during his tenure, which included an NCAA Division
II championship in 1978.