Legendary Basketball Coach Jerry Tarkanian Passes at 84 Print
News - Sports
Written by Jason Clay - Fresno State   
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 14:27
FRESNO   - Jerry Tarkanian - a Naismith Hall of Famer and Fresno State legend having both played and coached for the Bulldogs - passed away Wednesday morning at a Las Vegas-area hospital with his family by his side. He was 84.

He is survived by his wife, Lois, also a Fresno State graduate, four children and seven grandchildren.

Tarkanian, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September 2013, played at Fresno State from 1954-55 and later coached for the Bulldogs from 1995-02.

"Jerry Tarkanian is one of the true legends in the coaching profession," current Fresno State head men's basketball coach Rodney Terry said. "He was successful at so many different levels in college basketball. Coach Tarkanian welcomed me in from the first day I arrived in Fresno. He loved the Bulldogs and stayed connected with our program throughout the years. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Lois and family during this extremely difficult time."

Tarkanian's jersey was retired at Fresno State on March 1, 2014 at the Save Mart Center during a game played in front of a crowd of 14,801, the fourth-largest in the history of the arena.

"Jerry Tarkanian was a great coach, mentor and citizen in the Central Valley. Mary and I enjoyed visiting with him at Bulldog games, including when his jersey was retired at the Save Mart Center last year," Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro said. "We at Fresno State send our deepest condolences to Lois and the entire family. His many positive contributions to Fresno State are deeply appreciated by his colleagues and friends in our community."

The 'Dogs advanced to the postseason in each of his seven coaching seasons. With a 104-79 overall record, Tarkanian ranks third all-time for most wins by a Fresno State head men's basketball coach behind Boyd Grant (194) and Ed Gregory (172).

In over 30 years coaching, he led teams to four appearances in the NCAA Final Four (UNLV in 1977, 1987, 1990 and 1991), one national championship (UNLV in 1989-90) and owned a 38-18 record in 18 NCAA tournament appearances.

Tarkanian led Fresno State to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in 2000 and '01, a 2001 WAC title and a 2002 WAC Tournament championship. In 2001, the Bulldogs reached the second round of the NCAA's before falling to defending champion Michigan State.

Tark Facts
• Holds a career winning percentage of .803, fourth best all-time.
• Had 778 career victories.
• Became the eighth coach to reach the 750-victory mark at the major college level, defeating UTEP 108-56 on Jan. 25, 2001.
• Led Fresno State to six consecutive 20-win seasons and seven postseason appearances, the first time that feat has been accomplished in Bulldog basketball history.
• Tutored 42 players who were drafted by the NBA, including 12 first-round selections.
• One of only a handful of coaches to lead three different schools to 20-win seasons. At each school, Tark recorded a 20-win season in his first year.
• Led UNLV to the NCAA title in April 1990 (the Rebels defeated Duke 103-73 in posting the largest winning margin in NCAA championship game history).
• Averaged 25.3 wins per season during his 30-year major college coaching career.
• Led UNLV to Top 10 finishes in wire-service polls nine times (1976, 1977, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1992).
• Won the 2001 Don Haskins Award for WAC Coach of the Year. He won or shared Big West Conference Coach of the Year honors seven times in 10 seasons. Also was named West Coast Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1975.
• Won 20 games or more for 17 consecutive season and 29 of 31 seasons as a Division I coach.
• His 988 career collegiate coaching victories were the most ever counting all divisions at the time of his retirement.

 

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