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Iconic UNLV Coach Jerry Tarkanian Dies, Re-Live His Greatness

Legendary UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian died Wednesday. He was 84.

Tarkanian’s son broke the news on Twitter:

Tarkanian had been in a Las Vegas hospital all this week for a respiratory ailment and infection after his blood oxygen level slipped to a low level. His death comes less than a week after the passing of North Carolina legend Dean Smith.

The towel-chewing Tarkanian, who went to four Final Fours and amassed the seventh-best winning percentage in Division 1 history, won a national championship at UNLV in 1990, defeating Duke in the title game by a record 30 points.

He was almost as known for his fast-playing teams as he was for his battles with the NCAA, which bombarded him over the years with charges ranging from point-shaving to fixing grades.

Tark amassed a career record 706-189 at UNLV, Long Beach State and Fresno State and  in 31 years on the sidelines. Amazingly, his teams won 20 or more games in 29 of those years.

In 2013, UNLV honored Tarkanian with a statue outside the school’s arena, which you can see below:

Jerry Tarkanian Statue
Getty Images

You can check out more of the impact Tarkanian had, while also seeing his classic ’90 UNLV team in action, below:

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