Tarkanian Announced As Member Of Hall Of Fame
April 8, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - Former UNLV men's basketball head coach Jerry Tarkanian was announced Monday as a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's Class of 2013 and will be one of 12 new members to be inducted on Sept. 8 in Springfield, Mass.
The class announcement was made at a press conference in Atlanta, the site of the 2013 NCAA Final Four, and televised live on NBA TV with host Jim Nantz from CBS Sports.
"It's a real exciting time for me," Tarkanian told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "There's so many people to thank."
During 19 years at the helm of the Runnin' Rebels (1973-1992), Tarkanian, 82, shaped an uptempo and aggressive style that captivated fans in Las Vegas, and across the nation. Posting a 509-105 (.829) record at UNLV, he took four teams to the NCAA Final Four, winning the national championship in 1990 in a 103-73 runaway over Duke - still the highest margin of victory in NCAA tournament championship game history. He had the court at the Thomas & Mack Center named in his honor on Nov. 26, 2005.
"This honor is tremendous for Coach Tarkanian and his family, and also for UNLV and the city of Las Vegas," said UNLV Athletics Director Jim Livengood. "It goes without saying that this is long overdue. Everyone associated with the UNLV family is extremely proud of the many accomplishments during his era."
Already a member of the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame, Tarkanian is one of only two coaches to see his number retired. Known to fans as the towel-chewing "Tark the Shark," he never had a losing season while at UNLV.
"This is a very well-deserved reward for great effort," said Brad Rothermel, who was UNLV's athletics director from 1981-90 and currently works for the department as a special advisor. "To our city, Runnin' Rebel basketball is a treasure. We don't have anything else quite like it and with Coach Tarkanian's guidance it really defined the institution in some ways. He helped give our university recognition it never had previously and that it maintains today. I am delighted for Coach Tarkanian and his family. He had many great accomplishments during his career and this is certainly one of the highlights."
At the school, Tarkanian coached 13 players recognized as All-Americans a total of 20 times. He won 11 regular-season conference championships, seven conference tournament titles and made 12 NCAA Tournament appearances, including a string of nine straight. He was an eight-time conference coach of the year and was named UPI's National Coach of the Year in 1983.
"We are elated for Coach Tarkanian and his family," said current UNLV head coach Dave Rice, who also played for the Runnin' Rebels under Tarkanian from 1989-91. "He has truly had a Hall of Fame career and meant so much to UNLV. This is a great day for Runnin' Rebel fans and all of Coach Tark's former coaches and players."
Over 31 seasons as a Division I head coach, Tarkanian amassed 729 wins, with just 201 losses for a career winning percentage of .784, ranking 10th all-time among NCAA Division I men's basketball coaches. He led Long Beach State from 1968-73 and Fresno State from 1995-2002.
Tarkanian was the second fastest coach to reach 700 career wins in NCAA history, behind only Kentucky's Adolph Rupp. Overall, he won 900 games in a 38-year college coaching career (including junior college).
Joining Tarkanian as elected members of the Class of 2013 are fellow Las Vegas resident Gary Payton, Rick Pitino, Guy V. Lewis, Bernard King, Dawn Staley and Sylvia Hatchell.
Five others were directly selected through the Hall's other committees in February: E.B. Henderson (Early African-American Pioneers), Roger Brown (ABA), Oscar Schmidt (International), Richie Guerin (Veterans) and Russ Granik (Contributor).
To be elected, finalists required 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Hall of Fame. The addition of the direct elect committees were incorporated into the election process to maintain a strong focus on keeping history on the forefront of the voting procedures and to preserve a balance between two eras of basketball.
The full announcement from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame may be found by clicking here.