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November 28, 2014

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Former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian recognized with seniors award

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Former UNLV head basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian smiles after a statue of him was unveiled in front of the Thomas & Mack Center on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013.

Jerry Tarkanian Inducted Into Hall of Fame

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. Launch slideshow »

Mayor Carolyn Goodman called former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian “the most beloved human being in our community,” as he was recognized today as a senior who has made a difference in Las Vegas.

Two months after suffering a heart attack and being hospitalized with pneumonia, Tark the Shark accepted the city’s Senior of the Quarter award during a meeting of the City Council.

Danny Tarkanian, speaking on his father’s behalf, said his dad had “received some wonderful awards, but nothing means more to him than receiving an award from the city of Las Vegas and from seniors, because everyone knows the wisest people in town are the seniors.”

The award program was created by the Senior Citizens Advisory Board to encourage seniors to make life better for others through volunteer work, according to the city’s website.

Jerry Tarkanian’s wife of 57 years, Lois, is a member of the City Council.

A member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Tarkanian led teams from three schools to the NCAA tournament, most famously UNLV teams that four times advanced to the Final Four. The Runnin’ Rebels won the 1990 national title.

Tarkanian also took Long Beach State to the tournament.

After leaving UNLV, he coached with the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs in 1992 and returned to his alma mater, Fresno State, to serve as coach from 1995-2002, leading the Bulldogs to the NCAA tournament twice.

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