Jerry Tarkanian

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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.


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

See also