Saturday will be a special day in the history of Temple Athletics, as two champions – John Chaney and Dr. Ray Moyer – are inducted into the university’s Athletics Hall of Fame.
John Chaney has meant so much, not just to this institution, but to the city of Philadelphia and to college basketball as well. It will be a great honor for me personally just to be there to watch him be inducted into Temple’s Hall of Fame.
I competed against him for 17 years and always thought of him as a great friend and now, he is not just a great friend, but someone I count on for guidance. I also look back now and appreciate how he mentored me for many years as I was growing in my college coaching career.
As I watched the inauguration of Barack Obama, I was moved by what I saw that day. Then I watched John Chaney on Comcast SportsNet watching the inauguration and I was even further moved. Here is a guy who has had so much more experience in so many different ways than I have had and I really appreciated his thoughts on Barack Obama being sworn in as the President of the United States. It was a tremendous piece that I feel captured the essence of John Chaney - of what he feels about life and opportunity. He has been one of the great champions of opportunity in my lifetime.
When I first got the job at Temple, someone from College Sports TV asked me, “Why is it that so few African-Americans get opportunities to be head coaches in college football and yet in college basketball there are many opportunities for African-Americans?” Two names came to my mind - John Thompson and John Chaney. Why? Because they have seen opportunity, taken advantage of it, and championed that cause. I do not think anyone in college football has done that in the way these two men have done it in college basketball.
No one can get where they are by themselves. We all need help somehow, someway. If you look back on the career of John Chaney, there are probably hundreds and hundreds of stories of how he has helped other people and you are never going to hear about them. BUT, you know it has been done, and you know he has been instrumental in helping people get opportunity.
In his own right, Ray Moyer has been a champion in the field of medicine, and the treatment of student-athletes as John Chaney has been of coaching and guiding young men. For me, Doc Moyer is the most even guy, the most consistent guy I have ever met. He is a man that when he speaks, you listen. You have a great confidence in how he handles patients. The team of Ray and Page Moyer are Hall of Famers every time they are around student-athletes.
Join me Saturday Night at the Liacouras Center in welcoming these fine men into the Temple Athletics Hall of Fame.