Statue Unveiled - The Jerry Tarkanian Legacy Project
News | Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
The UNLV Alumni Association is proud to announce the unveiling of a 2,000 pound bronze statue of legendary Coach Jerry Tarkanian at the UNLV Thomas & Mack Center.
The campus community gathered at a dedication ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 30 to unveil the statue and salute Coach Tark who was joined by his family and close friends.
The statue was made possible thanks to a major gift by Chip '71 and Helen Johnson and donations from alumni and fans.
View photos from the event.
Related Coverage: Las Vegas Sun | Las Vegas Review-Journal | VIDEOS: Ceremony
Coach Jerry Tarkanian
Born Aug. 8, 1930 in Euclid, Ohio, Jerry Tarkanian spent his formative years in California. He played for the Fresno State Bulldogs' basketball team for two seasons before graduating in 1955. He later earned his master's degree with honors from the University of Redlands. His early collegiate coaching career included appointments at Riverside City College, Pasadena City College, and Long Beach State.
Coach Tark's career with UNLV spanned 19-years (1973-1992) as the head coach of UNLV's Runnin' Rebels. In 1977, his "Hardway Eight" squad set multiple NCAA scoring marks and reached the program's first Final Four. A decade later, his 1987 team ended the regular season ranked No. 1 and earned a second trip to the Final Four. His third Final Four team won the 1990 National Championship by a record-breaking score of 103-73 over Duke, a margin-of-victory record that still stands today.
Fondly known as the towel-chewing "Tark the Shark," Tarkanian never had a losing season while at UNLV. He left the university in 1992 ranking as the winningest coach in the sport's history.
After a brief stint leading the NBA's San Antonio Spurs, Tarkanian's final coaching stop was at his alma mater, Fresno State, for seven years ending in 2002. He served 38 total seasons as a head coach and is the second-fastest coach to reach 700 career wins, behind Kentucky's Adolph Rupp.
Tarkanian was inducted into the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998 and in 2013 he became the first member of the Runnin' Rebel family to be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
The Sculptor: Brian P. Hanlon
Brian Hanlon is a classically trained master sculptor and founder of Hanlon Sculpture Studio. With more than 300 public and private art pieces since 1991, Hanlon is a world-renowned artist from Toms River, NJ, specializing in bronze statues and is the official sculptor for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Hanlon has received national awards and commendations for his liturgical, civic, and athletic sculptures.
The mission of the Jerry Tarkanian Legacy Project is to honor the career and contributions of legendary basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian to the game of basketball, UNLV, and Southern Nevada.
Watch for more details coming soon about a special donation program for the scholarship fund.