It's been a banner year for legendary coaches Harry Litwack and John Chaney. The legacies of Litwack and Chaney, both members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, are now even more visible at the Liacouras Center, home of the Owls. Temple has unveiled larger-than-life statues of the coaches in the arena’s lobby, and their names can also be found on the center jump circle of the Owls’ home court.
Litwack, a Hall of Fame inductee in 1976, guided the Owls to a 373-193 record in his 21 seasons as head coach (1952-1973). He led the Owls to 13 postseason appearances (6 NCAA, 7 NIT) and the program’s only Final Four appearances (1956, 1958). His 1968-’69 team won the NIT championship. Litwack died in 1999 at age 91.
Chaney—who was present for the statues’ unveiling on Feb. 1—was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2001. He posted a 516-253 mark in 24 seasons as the Owls’ head coach (1982-2006), and carried Temple to 23 postseason appearances (17 NCAA, 6 NIT), including five Elite Eight finishes. He was twice named National Coach of the Year, and his 1987-’88 team is the only Temple squad to end the season ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press national poll.
Chaney was also a MEAC/SWAC Challenge Legend in 2012, along with Eddie Robinson (who attended Alabama State), Jack “Cy” McClairen (Bethune-Cookman), Stephanie Ready (Coppin State) and Steven Wilson (Howard University).
Perhaps the statues will bring a bit of luck to the Fran Dunphy-coached Owls, who competed in the Charleston Classic Presented by Gildan to start the season. The squad is now 6-14 overall, 1-7 in the American Athletic Conference.