John Chaney, the commanding Temple basketball coach, has died at 89

PHILADELPHIA — John Chaney, one of the nation’s leading Black coaches and a commanding figure during a Hall of Fame basketball career at Temple, died Friday.

He became a de facto father to dozens of his players, many coming to Temple from broken homes, violent upbringings and bad schools.

Chaney was an imposing presence on the court — restless, cranky, his otherwise natty clothes in shambles by the end of the game.

In 1984, Chaney grabbed George Washington coach Gerry Gimelstob by the shoulders at halftime during a game.

His retirement news conference in March 2006 wasn’t about hoops but about education’s role in helping the poor and disadvantaged.

Perched in one of Philadelphia’s toughest neighborhoods, Temple was the perfect match for a coach who prided himself on helping players turn their basketball skills into college degrees.

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