Unlv Rebels Clinch Ncaa Championship
The UNLV Rebels continued to shine over the 1987-1988 and 1988-1989 seasons, advancing to the third and fourth rounds of the NCAA tournament, respectively. But greater glory lay ahead for Tarkanian's team which clinched the NCAA Championship in 1989-1990 after finishing the season with a record of 35-5. Despite NCAA attempts to bar the team from postseason play in 1990-1991, an agreement was struck to shift the postseason ban to the following year. This paved the way for another trip to the NCAA's Final Four. Despite a brilliant 26-2 record in 1991-1992, UNLV, abiding by its agreement with the NCAA, saw no postseason action. Part of the agreement struck with the NCAA called for Tarkanian to resign at the end of the 1991-1992 season. He stepped down in March 1992.
Tarkanian next gave NBA ball a try, signing on as head coach of the San Antonio Spurs. But his stint in pro basketball was short-lived, ending when Tarkanian was fired shortly after clashing with the team's owner. In 1995 he returned to his alma mater to coach the Fresno State Bulldogs. During his seven seasons as Bulldogs coach, the team compiled a winning record of 153-80. On March 15, 2002, Tarkanian stepped down as coach and accepted a position as senior development consultant with the university's Save Mart Center. In June 2002, Tarkanian revealed that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer but expressed optimism that he would be cured.
Despite his long-running battles with the NCAA, Tarkanian will long be remembered as one of the winningest coaches in college basketball history. After Tarkanian left college basketball in March 2002, fellow coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke told the Associated Press: "He's had an amazing career. Jerry had consistent high levels of success because his teams played hard defensively. He's one of the truly remarkable defensive coaches."
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