PHILADELPHIA - A viewing and Celebration of Life service was held Monday for legendary Temple University basketball coach John Chaney. The 89-year-old died after a short, unspecified illness back on Jan. 29 about a week after celebrating his birthday.
"We're grateful Oh God that he touched each and every one of us and people of all walks of life so enormously," Pastor Marshall Mitchell said during the service.
"No matter where he is with his family, his basketball players, or in the grocery store, he would always instill wisdom in people," his granddaughter Tameika Colleen Clark said.
The Liacouras Center was open for a public viewing Monday morning for people to pay respects to the Philadelphia native. The private family viewing and Celebration of Life followed.
Coach Chaney is best known for building the university's basketball program into one of the most successful in the nation with 700 wins in more than 1,000 games.
He retired in 2006 after 24 years of leading the Owls through five consecutive NCAA tournament appearances from 1984 to 1988 and 12 straight appearances from 1990 to 2001. He was named the national Division 1 coach of the year twice and was inducted into Temple's Hall of Fame in 2009.
His loved ones say his legacy extends much further than the basketball court. He was a mentor and friend to the Temple University community, a leader in Philadelphia, and so much more to those who were fortunate to know him well.
"One who figured out a way to let basketball be an entree to the deeper parts of our very meanings who coached and pushed and sometimes shouted to bring out better things in all of us," Pastor Mitchell said.
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