tark

*Hall of Fame coach Jerry Tarkanian, who built a basketball dynasty at UNLV, died Wednesday after years of battling health issues. He was 84.

Danny Tarkanian announced his father’s death on Twitter.

Tarkanian had been hospitalized since Monday at Valley Hospital Medical Center for a respiratory ailment and infection. He had been rushed to the hospital by ambulance after his blood oxygen fell to dangerous levels.

Per ESPN.com:

The towel-chewing coach, dubbed Tark the Shark, had been hospitalized three times in 10 months. He had a second heart attack in April and was treated for pneumonia in November.

Tarkanian, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 2013, led the 1990 UNLV team that won an NCAA national title and the 1991 Runnin’ Rebels who lost to Duke in the Final Four.

His teams were as flamboyant as his Las Vegas surroundings, with light shows and fireworks for pregame introductions and celebrities jockeying for position on the so-called Gucci Row courtside.

jerry-tarkanian-towel

Tarkanian ended up beating the NCAA too, collecting a $2.5 million settlement after suing the organization for trying to run him out of college basketball.

He retired in 2002 with a 729-201 record in 31 years at the Division I level, ranking 12th all time. He spent 19 seasons at UNLV, compiling a 509-105 mark.

Tark coached this lineup to a 1990 National Championship win over Duke

Tark coached this lineup to a 1990 National Championship win over Duke

Tarkanian also coached the San Antonio Spurs and at Fresno State, leading the Bulldogs to the NCAA tournament twice. Before UNLV, he was the coach at Long Beach State.