Jan. 28, 2004
I have so much respect for what Temple coach John Chaney has accomplished over the years. Chaney is one of the most passionate coaches in America.
His peers think the world of him, as he is already enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame. On Wednesday night, he reached another milestone, becoming just the 16th coach in Division I history to win 700 games.
Chaney became the fifth active coach to reach the 700 club, joining Bob Knight, Lou Henson, Eddie Sutton and Lute Olson.
Since taking over the Temple program in 1982, Chaney has done a masterful job. He probably should have been on the Division I level earlier in his career. Chaney won a national title on the Division II level at Cheyney State in 1978 (he had a .792 win percentage there in 10 seasons before taking over the Owls).
Chaney always gets the maximum out of his people. When I define coaching, it's the ability to get the most out of your personnel, understand their strengths and weaknesses and get them to perform as a unit. That describes Chaney to a T.
The Temple coach is also a master motivator. The talent level might not be as strong as it was in the past, but every time the Owls take the floor, opponents know they'll be in for a battle. Temple's matchup zone and team discipline can cause problems night in and night out. That discipline comes from the leadership of Chaney.
There is nobody that fits in better than Chaney does at Temple. He is a hard worker, dedicated and determined, and one of the giants to ever grace a college sideline.
His numbers accomplished over the years are amazing. He's recorded 23 seasons of 20 or more wins (15 at Temple) and five trips to the Elite Eight (1988, 1991, 1993, 1999 and 2001). Chaney is also the winningest coach in Atlantic 10 history.
Chaney's success on the court is only part of the story.
The bottom line is that Chaney's success on the court is only part of the story. His ability to impart wisdom and convey life stories to his players is so important. Chaney has the ability to get them to understand there's more to life than shooting a jump shot.
Utilizing those qualities helps him teach team concepts to his players. That means everyone is playing for the same goal, to bring success to Temple University.
Congrats to John Chaney on his 700th win. It has been a sweet journey, and I hope there are many more victories in his outstanding career.
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