John Chaney Threatened To Kill John Calipari 20 Years Ago Today

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Feb. 13, 1994, Temple coach John Chaney had to be pulled away from UMass's John Calipari following a Minutemen win. You know this, and the images are part of our collective sports memory by now. But try to watch the incident with fresh eyes. Never forget how incredible it is that this happened.

Chaney actually had the moral high ground, before he squandered it by charging the dais. He was upset over Calipari haranguing the referees as they left the floor, reportedly telling them he'd make sure they'd never call a UMass game again.


"You've got a good ball club. But what you did with the officials out there is wrong, and I don't want to be a party to that. You understand?...You had the best officiating you could ever get here. And for you to ride them, I don't want to be a party to that."

Calipari played it cool. Chaney did not. In the ensuing scrum, he promised to kick Calipari's ass and repeatedly yelled "I'll kill you." He received a one-game suspension, which is roughly 19 games fewer than what he'd get if this happened today. (It is also horrifying to consider the thinkpieces this would have spawned had it occurred in the internet era.)

The two never held any grudges, even posing for this photo a couple years back:

In a 2013 interview, Chaney said no one cares that they're buddies now.

"They'd much rather laugh and pick on my ass about that because they keep showing it on television," Chaney said. "I don't care where I go, somebody hollers out at me 'I'm going to kill you.'"

The great UMass-Temple rivalry is no more as of last year, thanks to the machinations of realignment—Temple is on the Island of Misfit Toys that is the American, while UMass stayed with the gutted remnants of the A-10. Since that 1994 blow-up, Calipari went on to become one of the premier coaches in the college game, finally winning his first national title in 2012. Chaney would retire in 2006, his exit hastened by sending out a "goon"—just what he threatened Calipari he'd do the next time his Owls faced Massachusetts.