Jerry Tarkanian, 84, the Hall of Fame Coach of basketball and a true rebel who led the Runnin’ Rebels to the national championship in 1990, dies. He was a master planner who concocted a plan to have the help of Frank Sinatra in the recruitment pursuit while he was molding UNLV as a basketball team of substance. He was an outstanding coach who had his way always, and for which he would be remember ever after his death at 84 on Wednesday.
He led UNLV to four Final Fours winning the national championship of 1990 drafting contemporary great players like Dean Smith, Bob Knight and the likes. He provided second chances to gifted players with poor academic records, and made them learn the art and craft of high scoring. He favored an action packed style of play having stifling full court press which triggered majority of offense. The UNLV’s ascent made Tarkanian an icon, but he was also subjected to scrutiny from the investigators of NCAA. For the entire 31 seasons as a Division I coach, he had been refuting such allegations as point-saving, grade fixing, and impressible gifts to recruits. He accused NCAA of harassment, and got upset at the thought of NCAA, he once said.
Tarkanian was the son of an Armenian immigrant couple, and was born at the time of Great Depression in Ohio. His father died when he was just 10 of tuberculosis, and it was difficult for him as a growing poor with a single parent. However, it helped him identify with people and players with similar backgrounds unlike other coaches. He was fascinated to become a coach from his early childhood, and pursued his studies keeping that in mind. He ascended to one coaching ladder gradually, and rose to pinnacle of glory. He is held high as a coaching legend in the annals of basketball.