Jerry Tarkanian, Hall of Fame Head Coach, Dies At 84
Coach Tark, my father, the greatest man I have ever known, passed today, to take his place in heaven. I will miss him every day of my life.
— Danny Tarkanian (@DannyTarkanian) February 11, 2015
After being checked into a hospital on Monday for respiratory problems, legendary towel-chomping hall of fame coach Jerry Tarkanian died at the age of 84. Over the last year, the great coach has had an array of medical problems and was rushed to the hospital on Monday after his “blood oxygen fell to dangerous levels.”
Tarkanian is best known for his time with UNLV. In 19 years with the program, he built the program up, leading them to four final four appearances, one championship (1990) and over 500 wins. After coaching the Runnin’ Rebels, he decided to take his talents to the San Antonio Spurs, but his time in the NBA lasted less than a season. He clashed with Spurs owner Red McCombs and was eventually fired after a 9-11 record.
He went on to coach his final years at Fresno State, his alma-mater. There he led the Bulldogs to six consecutive 20-plus win seasons and two appearances in the NCAA tournament. He retired after the 2001-2002 with an all-time coaching record of 761-202 and the tenth best winning percentage of all time at .790. It is important to note that the NCAA only recognizes 729 wins as his 1968-69 season was outside of Division I.
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