Las Vegas Sun

December 21, 2014

Currently: 55° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian suffered heart attack, doctors say

Image

Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Lois Tarkanian holds her husband Jerry Tarkanian’s hand after he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013 in Springfield, Mass.

Updated Tuesday, April 15, 2014 | 4:53 p.m.

Tarkanian Honored

Jerry Tarkanian is seen between games in the inaugural  Jerry Tarkanian Classic Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian is up and moving around at a Las Vegas hospital and could go home this weekend after suffering a heart attack and contracting pneumonia.

"He's feeling much better," Tarkanian's son-in-law, Zafi Diamant, said Tuesday. "He's been up and walking around, all in all feeling much better."

Tarkanian was admitted to Valley Hospital last Wednesday after attending the Final Four in North Texas, complaining of weakness, lethargy and labored breathing.

Doctors determined the 83-year-old had pneumonia and tests later revealed he also had a heart attack.

Diamant said Tarkanian will likely undergo a catheterization to determine if anything else needs to be done in the next couple of days and could go home after that.

A member of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, Tarkanian led three schools to the NCAA tournament, most famously the UNLV teams that went to the Final Four four times.

The Runnin' Rebels and their frenetic amoeba defense won the 1990 national title and lost to Duke in the 1991 Final Four. He later coached with the NBA's San Antonio Spurs and returned to his alma mater, Fresno State, to serve as coach from 1995-2002, leading the Bulldogs to the NCAA tournament twice.

The colorful "Tark the Shark" was known during his coaching days for biting towels during games and his open criticism of the NCAA, from which he received a large settlement in 1998 after suing the organization on claims of harassment.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy