By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Temple basketball community lost a legend on Friday. John Chaney, a Hall of Fame head coach who led the Owls to national prominence, died just a week after his 89th birthday.

Chaney’s death left the Philadelphia basketball scene in mourning. Fran Dunphy, who succeeded Chaney at Temple, said Chaney was “more than just a Hall of Fame Basketball coach, he was a Hall of Famer in life.”

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Aaron McKie, who currently coaches Temple and played for Chaney from 1991-94, said the legendary coach “was like a father to me.”

Dawn Staley, a Philly basketball legend in her own right, said Chaney was a “giver to the voiceless, underprivileged, the game, to his peeps.”

One name that is synonymous with Chaney’s legend is John Calipari and a postgame press conference from Feb. 13, 1994, when Calipari was the head coach at the University of Massachusetts, an Atlantic 10 rival of Temple. After the Owls lost 56-55 to Calipari’s Minutemen, Chaney stormed into Calipari’s press conference, unhappy with how he treated the referees, leading to a now-infamous exchange.

Calipari, now the head coach at the University of Kentucky, reacted to Chaney’s death on Twitter, writing:

“I’m so saddened to hear that we have lost John Chaney, a coaching icon, a Hall of Famer, a molder of young men, the ultimate competitor and a dear friend. Being able to compete against the best at a young age gave me a great opportunity to grown and learn,” Calipari wrote.

“Coach Chaney’s ability to coach hard, yet build trust and teach life lessons, is unmatched in our profession, in my opinion. Although we were competitors, it’s what I admired most about him,” Calipari added.

“Coach Chaney and I fought every game we competed – as everyone knows, sometimes literally — but in the end he was my friend. Throughout my career, we would talk about basketball and life. I will miss those talks and I will my friend. Rest in peace, Coach!” Calipari added.


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