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Former UNLV coach Tarkanian hospitalized

Published On: Apr 10 2014 03:48:08 PM CDT
Jerry Tarkanian, former UNLV coach, 2011

Jason Redmond/Reuters

Former UNLV coach and Hall of Famer Jerry Tarkanian has been hospitalized in Las Vegas after he started having breathing difficulties over the weekend while in Dallas for the Final Four.

The 83-year-old Tarkanian was tested for pneumonia before the trip, but the results were negative and he was cleared to travel, his son Danny Tarkanian told the Las Vegas Sun. Danny Tarkanian said his father was also struggling to keep his eyes open when he was taken to Valley Hospital on Wednesday night.

Tarkanian remained sedated at the hospital Thursday while doctors tried to determine what was behind his ailments.

Danny Tarkanian said doctors ran a CT scan to test for a stroke. The elder Tarkanian has fluid in his lungs and his heart isn't working at full strength, his son said.

"Maybe it's a variety (of problems) causing the weakness," Danny Tarkanian told the newspaper. "They're trying to get him stable and taking a bunch of tests."

The elder Tarkanian has been battling health issues in recent years. He spent 11 days last summer in the hospital, needing a pacemaker.

Tarkanian coached the Runnin' Rebels for 19 seasons, taking them to 12 NCAA tournaments, including four Final Fours and a national championship in 1990. In his career, he won 784 games, including a 509-105 record at UNLV. In October, UNLV honored him with a statue outside of the Thomas & Mack Center.

He also coached five seasons at Long Beach State, leading the school to two Elite Eights, and seven seasons at Fresno State, his alma mater, with two NCAA Tournament appearances.


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