PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Temple's double-digit lead was slipping away
and John Chaney was cussing in the huddle when David Hawkins
quieted his tempestuous coach.
"I told him to calm down, that we were going to win it for
him," Hawkins said.
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.
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. More...
Just like that, the Owls put the game away and gave their coach
a milestone victory.
Chaney won his 700th career game Wednesday night when the Owls
beat St. Bonaventure 76-57 behind Hawkins' 21 points.
"I thought I would be a very old man when this happened,"
Chaney told the crowd. "Today, I feel like a very young man."
Chaney, who turned 72 last week, is 700-278 in 32 seasons as
coach at Division II Cheyney State and Temple. He is 475-219 in 22
seasons with the Owls.
The 2001 Hall of Fame inductee joins Bob Knight, Lou Henson,
Eddie Sutton and Lute Olson as the only active Division I coaches
with 700 victories and is the 21st coach overall to win that many
games. Olson joined the club earlier this month.
This was Chaney's second attempt at No. 700 after the Owls lost
Saturday at Massachusetts.
"I've never been one to have outside things pressure me,"
Chaney said. "I think most coaches and most players put more
pressure on themselves than anybody on the outside."
Chants of "700!" and "Cha-ney! Cha-ney!" started in the
final minutes before 700 red and white balloons dropped from the
Chaney was mobbed by his players as several fans rushed the
court before quickly being forced back to their seats. He then
hugged former Temple president Peter Liacouras, who hired Chaney in
"When you see kids expressing an honest emotion, a feeling we
don't see too often, when you see that you can't help but have a
lump in your throat," said Chaney, who choked up and spoke slowly.
"It certainly makes me feel taken aback by that. I recognize there
are still some good people in this world."
The Owls watched a 14-point lead dip to 45-42 midway through the
second half after Patrick Lottin sank a 3-pointer for the Bonnies
The Owls, though, went on a 16-4 run that started when Marques
Green was whistled for an off-the-ball foul. Temple retained
possession and Hawkins hit a 3-pointer.
Dustin Salisbery had a thunderous dunk on the next possession,
then added a 3-pointer to push the lead back to 11.
Hawkins hit 3s on consecutive possessions, making it 59-41 and
the Owls cruised from there.
"It's really special and great for him," Hawkins said. "He's
a great coach and a great man."
Lottin led St. Bonaventure with 15 points and Green, who came in
with an A-10 leading 23.4 points, ran into foul trouble and
finished with 14.
Temple gave Chaney little to worry about early, taking advantage
of five St. Bonaventure turnovers in the first seven minutes of the
game to take the early double-digit lead.
Chaney walks a bit slower than he used to, but the raspy trail
of unprintable words still roll out with ease. He could be heard
giving the Owls an earful when they weren't playing well.
Midway through the first half, Chaney rocked on the end of his
chair when Temple worked the ball inside. After two missed layups,
Chaney slapped his hands on his head before a thin smile crossed
his face when Michael Blackshear finally converted the basket.
Chaney wore his traditional buttoned-down shirt, with sleeves
rolled up, designer tie and black vest and slacks. The vest was
gone by the second half and the lead nearly was also after a 12-5
run pulled the Bonnies within two.
Bonnies coach Anthony Solomon paid his compliments to Chaney,
but wished the celebration could have been delayed a game.
"We were in a position to do something, but then they had a
stretch where they hit big shots," Solomon said.
Chaney led Cheyney State in suburban Philadelphia to the 1978
Division II national championship. A Final Four appearance is still
the one void in his career, though he's led the Owls to five
regional finals (1988, 1991, 1993, 1999 and 2001).
Chaney has led the Owls to 17 NCAA tournament appearances and 20
straight postseason appearances. The Owls will likely miss the NCAA
tournament for the third straight year and will need a strong
finish just to make the NIT.
The Owls have won their last 23 home games against the Bonnies.