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Jerry Tarkanian
SELENA ROBERTS
August 02, 2010
For the iconic and rebellious Rebels coach who brought two decades of winning hoops and style to the desert—and for many other sports figures—life stays in Vegas
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August 02, 2010

Jerry Tarkanian

For the iconic and rebellious Rebels coach who brought two decades of winning hoops and style to the desert—and for many other sports figures—life stays in Vegas

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Jerry Tarkanian's plate is cleared. "Finished, Coach?" the waiter asks. He is done in many ways, never to coach again. "I don't miss it, but I loved it when I did it," he says. "It was a great time for me, but the [NCAA] wore me out." The town is forever grateful for his resilience, though. He is often feted at the local country clubs. He is cheered when he attends a game. His name is on a basketball academy. And along the drive from south Vegas to the north side you'll find Lois and Jerry Tarkanian Middle School. Lois has rescued more than her husband over the years. She is also a fixture in Las Vegas for her impressive career: a longtime speech pathologist and education advocate who went on to become a city councilwoman (as, ahem, a Democrat). "She kept everything together," Tarkanian says of his wife, "through all that has happened." Tark rises from the restaurant booth, brushes a crumb off his beige polo shirt. His energy is reserved for rehab and his grandchildren, who despite the vast desert all live within three miles of his home in a suburban neighborhood amid the planted palms.

Here lives Tark the Shark, surrounded by family in the same home he bought when he moved to Las Vegas more than 30 years ago. Heaven has an address: Tarkanian still resides on Justice Lane.

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