Colleagues Laud Tarkanian’s Selection for Hall of Fame

The Shark is headed to the Hall of Fame.

According to a report on, former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian has been voted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2013.

Tarkanian, 82, is one of 12 finalists who needed a minimum of 18 out of 24 votes from the Hall’s Honors Committee. The official announcement will be made Monday morning at the Final Four in Atlanta.

“It’s such a long overdue recognition, and I couldn’t be prouder for him and his family,” says longtime UNLV booster Sig Rogich, who led attempts to bring Tarkanian from Long Beach State to UNLV in 1973. “What he did in basketball is revolutionary, and he’s finally being acknowledged for it, although his peers—the coaches he worked with and played against—to a person would tell you that this honor was deserving a long, long time ago. All of us who know and love the Tarkanian family are thrilled.”

Tarkanian compiled a record of 784-202 in 31 years at Long Beach State, UNLV and Fresno State. He went 509-105 in 19 seasons at UNLV with 12 NCAA tournament appearances, four Final Four berths and one national championship, in 1990. (Read this week’s cover story on Tark’s time at UNLV here.) While Tarkanian has the 10th highest winning percentage (.790) in college basketball history, his frequent run-ins with the NCAA likely kept him from being voted into the Hall sooner.

Kentucky coach John Calipari told Vegas Seven in a recent interview that Tarkanian should have been inducted into the Hall long ago.

“Look at what he’s done for basketball. Look at what he’s done for young people. Look at the relationships he has with his former players—they love him,” Calipari said. “And you say, ‘Was he good for the game? Was he good for the schools where he coached? Was he good for coaching?’ Come on!”

Tarkanian will be formally inducted in the Hall, located in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Sept. 8.

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