Jerry Tarkanian

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Jerry_Tarkanian&chld=H_100&junk=junk.png Jerry Tarkanian Mars symbol.svg
Other names "Tark the Shark"
Name in Armenian Ջերրի Թարխանյան
Birthplace Euclid (Ohio)
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Birth date 8 August 1930
Lived in Fresno, Las Vegas, Euclid, Pasadena, Riverside, Long Beach
Positions Head Coach
Ethnicities Armenian
Spouses Lois Tarkanian
Children Danny Tarkanian

Jerry Tarkanian (born August 8, 1930), known as Tark "the Shark", was a college basketball coach. He retired from coaching in 2002. He was coach at Long Beach State from 1968-1973, University of Nevada, Las Vegas from 1973-1992, and at Fresno State from 1995-2002. In 1990 Tarkanian's UNLV Runnin' Rebels won the NCAA basketball championship, 103-73 against Duke.

Before coaching Division I basketball, Tarkanian also coached at Riverside City College (California) from 1961-1966 and Pasadena City College from 1966-1968.

Tarkanian has the distinction of being one of few college coaches to lead three different schools to 20-win seasons. He accomplished this task at each school in his first year. With 988 career college victories he has the most wins of any coach, counting all divisions.

Tarkanian was born in Euclid, Ohio, and attended Pasadena City College in California. He later transferred to Fresno State where he played basketball for the bulldogs in1954 and 1955. He graduated in 1955. Later, he earned a master's degree in educational management from the University of Redlands.

With the help of sportswriter Dan Wetzel Tarkanian wrote an autobiography book, "Jerry Tarkanian: Runnin' Rebel".

Jerry Tarkanian is married. He and his wife Lois have four children and seven grandchildren.

He is known for habitually chewing on a towel during games.

Other biographical details

His colorful autobiography, "Runnin' Rebel: Shark Tales of "Extra Benefits", Frank Sinatra and Winning it All" was released in October 2005 and was a major national seller.

Jerry Tarkanian is married to Las Vegas city councilwoman Lois Tarkanian. They have four children and ten grandchildren. One of their sons, Danny Tarkanian, was an All-American college basketball player while playing for Jerry Tarkanian at UNLV. He won the Republican nomination for Nevada secretary of state in the 2006 primary but lost in the general election. In 2010 he mounted an unsuccessful Republican primary campaign for the United States Senate seat held by Harry Reid.

Tarkanian is a good friend of college basketball coach Bob Knight. Tarkanian and Knight matched wits in the national semifinals of the 1987 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament in New Orleans, with Knight's Indiana Hoosiers defeating UNLV 97–93.

He also started a basketball school in Las Vegas, named The Tarkanian Basketball Academy.

His granddaughter Dannielle Diamant plays for Northwestern University women's basketball team.[1][2]


  • Former Bulldogs basketball coach writes autobiography , The Fresno Bee, October 25 2005

See also