John Chaney of Temple, who guided the Owls to their first No. 1 ranking and Owls to their first No. 1 ranking and a berth in the round of eight in the NCAA tournament, was named today college basketball coach of the year by The Associated Press.
Chaney received 261 of 445 votes from the nationwide panel of sports writers and broadcasters which voted before the NCAA Tournament.Temple was ranked 12th in this year's preseason poll but jumped to the Top Ten two weeks later and finally took the No. 1 ranking for the final six weeks of the season.
The Owls, 32-2, had the top ranking entering the NCAA Tournament and managed victories over Lehigh, Georgetown and Richmond before losing to No. 5 Duke 63-53 in the East Regional final. Temple's only other loss was in the regular season, at Nevada-Las Vegas.
Arizona's Lute Olson was second with 58 votes, followed by Purdue's Gene Keady, with 56, Paul Westhead of Loyola, Calif., with 21 and Billy Tubbs of Oklahoma, with 13.
This was Chaney's sixth season at Temple and every one has been successful after a 14-15 mark in his first year. The Owls went 26-5 the next year and won the Atlantic 10 championship with an 18-0 record.
Chaney won the Division II national championship at Cheyney State in 1978, and he has forged a career record of 379-96 in 16 seasons, including a 114-38 mark at Temple.