They Said It

“I love John. To me, John is a pioneer in race relations. His story is one of the great stories of anyone in our sport. I totally respect John. We’re great friends. “I’ve been at

“I love John. To me, John is a pioneer in race relations. His story is one of the great stories of anyone in our sport. I totally respect John. We’re great friends.

“I’ve been at meetings where, at times, he expresses his feelings about certain things. You could almost feel like there was a different soul coming out. And it’s because he’s actually experienced all those negative things that have happened to certain people in our society. … He’s made sure his kids at Temple don’t experience that.

“I’m very honored to be his friend.”
-Mike Krzyzewski
Duke men’s basketball coach

“John Chaney is my friend, so I’m [never] particularly happy about playing him. You’d much rather pick some of the 300 other teams that are not as difficult to prepare for.

“You want to egotistically match wits with the very best in the game. And John Chaney is a Hall of Famer.”
-Phil Martelli
Saint Joseph’s men’s basketball coach

“He loves the kids. But we all love him. He loves his kids [on the court] like he loves his own kids. I’ve always been a student of his. He’s like my father in that he’s always guiding me.”
-Mark Macon
Assistant coach (2003-present)
and former Temple all-American (1988-91)

“He would stroke you, and then he’d kick you. And you always needed both. He does not do it to put you down. He’s doing it to teach. He always knew who to pat on the back and who to kick.”
-Jay Norman
Former Temple assistant coach

“His teams are hard-nosed because he’s tough. They play tough the whole game, every game because of him.

“I went to Chaney-[Sonny] Hill camp when I was 10 or 11 [years old]. I remember him being there, giving us speeches on how to get better. We were out there in mid-summer, working out. I’ll always remember that.”
-Gerald Henderson
Episcopal Academy, McDonald’s All-American

“All of the honors that have gone to him are more than well-deserved. People who haven’t had the honor of getting to know him have really missed something.”
-Linda Bruno
Atlantic Ten Conference Commissioner

“He would tell a story every morning [at practice], and you would never hear the same story twice. He could start off with a chair and, by the end of the story, he had you thinking about basketball and education.”
-Levan Alston
Former Owls point guard (1994-96)

“He’s a soul to treasure, there’s no question about it, for what he’s done for Philadelphia. …Off the court, the things he has done [like] giving people an opportunity, helping so many people. Some only see him rant and rave, and then form opinions. If you know John Chaney, if you have a friend in John Chaney, you can’t get a better person.”
-Speedy Morris
Saint Joseph’s Prep boys basketball coach

“He used to get around to the classrooms because he didn’t believe [the players’ word]. He wanted to go check a classroom for himself. He can’t make it around campus like he used to back in the day. …He calls us now on our cell phones. He does all the things your father would do.”
-Mark Tyndale
Sophomore guard, men’s basketball team

“I have a relationship with coach Chaney far beyond basketball. Since I was, like, eight or nine years old, I’ve been around him and his program. …I don’t know what its going to be like without him there [beside me] on the bench.”
-Dan Leibovitz
Assistant coach (1996-present)

“If he’s doing this on his terms, I’d tell him to enjoy life, enjoy watching games. He can come to our practice. I imagine there are other coaches from around the country who’ll say, ‘Come on and join us. Spend a week with us.’

“…We had an unbelievable rivalry that was heated and smoking, and we’re friends. He tried to choke me after a game, and we’re friends. We respect each other and respected each other’s programs. It was a mean rivalry, and a great rivalry.”
-John Calipari
Memphis men’s basketball coach

“He’s done a lot, not only for the men’s program but for the women’s [program], as well. He put both programs on the map.

“Some of the stuff that we use is from [his playbook]. I know [Dawn Staley] goes to him a lot, as far as different plays and different set breakers that we need.”
-Candice Dupree
Senior forward, women’s basketball team

“I keep a poem posted in my office called, ‘The Man in the Mirror.’ The poem is about not lying to yourself. Coach Chaney never lied to himself. He was his own man and, when he made a mistake, he would let you know he made one.”
-James “Bruiser” Flint
Drexel men’s basketball coach

“The elder statesman really showed [in the A-10 tournament] that he knows how to get teams up. He knows how to get kids ready for an important basketball game.”
-Karl Hobbs
George Washington men’s basketball coach

“I went to coach Chaney’s camps as a youngster. He didn’t have enough girls who took basketball seriously, so he put me in with the guys. And not a lot of coaches will put a teenage girl with teenage guys, just because that wasn’t the norm. But at coach Chaney’s camp, if you could play at that level, he was certainly going to stick you in there with the level at which you could play.

“Anytime you’ve been in athletics as long as he has and you follow the program you want, you want the banners. You want the NCAA Championship. You want to go to the Final Four. But when you add up all the things that he’s done off the court, he’s got a number of national championships in life.”
-Dawn Staley
Temple women’s basketball coach

“When the history of this era at Temple is written, John Chaney will be a very, very large piece of that history.”
-David Adamany
Temple University President

“He wears his heart on his sleeve and, of course, he’s a media magnet. He fills your notepads. And to most Philadelphians, he’s the face of Temple University, the Big 5 and the Atlantic Ten.”
-Bill Bradshaw
Temple Athletic Director

“He has fought for every right cause that I know and I just have the most upright respect for the man he is. …He has helped thousands of people and most of them you’re probably never going to hear about.”
– Fran Dunphy
Penn men’s basketball coach

“I greatly admire coach Chaney’s coaching. His teams are extremely difficult to play against. More importantly I admire his concern for people and his strength to stand up for important causes.”
-John Giannini
La Salle men’s basketball coach

“On the court he’s mean and he’s tough, but off the court he’s just a fun-loving old man. …I owe a lot of credit to him – for giving me a chance, for recruiting me, and putting the ball in my hands for four years and letting me do the things I was capable of doing. I give Coach all the credit for my success since I’ve been here.”
– Mardy Collins
Senior guard, men’s basketball team

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