College Sports

Jerry Tarkanian timeline

Hall of Fame basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian died Wednesday. He was 84 years old.

▪  The beginnings

Aug. 8, 1930: Jerry Tarkanian born in Euclid, Ohio, to Armenian immigrants.

Dec. 10, 1954: Fresno State beats San Francisco State 71-60 in the Bulldogs’ home opener. Reserve guard Tarkanian, a senior, scores five points on two field goals and a free throw.

Nov. 30, 1956: Tarkanian in his first game as a head coach watches his San Joaquin Memorial High School team fall 46-27 to host Hanford.

Dec. 4, 1956: Tarkanian gets his first win as a head coach when San Joaquin Memorial defeats visiting Tranquillity 56-40. Memorial led 31-9 at halftime.

March 14, 1964: Riverside City College beats Hancock 78-71, giving Tarkanian the first of his four state junior-college titles (three straight at Riverside, one at Pasadena City College).

March 10, 1968: Tarkanian becomes head basketball coach at Long Beach State.

▪  UNLV years

March 23, 1973: Tarkanian is named head coach at UNLV.

Aug. 25, 1977: NCAA imposes two-year probation on UNLV’s basketball program for questionable practices from 1971 to 1975.

Sept. 7, 1977: The NCAA reports numerous violations, many of them linked to the coach. They order UNLV to suspend Tarkanian. UNLV announces Tarkanian has been suspended from coaching.

1980: Inducted into the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame.

Feb. 19, 1983: UNLV’s last home game in the Las Vegas Convention Center. UNLV defeats Utah State, 111-78.

Nov. 26, 1983: UNLV’s first regular-season game in the 18,500-seat Thomas & Mack Center. UNLV beats Nevada-Reno 92-71.

March 28, 1987: UNLV loses 97-93 to Indiana (eventual champion) in NCAA Tournament national semifinal.

April 2, 1990: UNLV beats Duke 103-73 for the NCAA championship.

July 20, 1990: NCAA bans UNLV from defending its national title in postseason play because of the 1977 offenses. UNLV appeals.

Nov. 29, 1990: UNLV settles with the NCAA. UNLV allowed to defend title but agrees to a ban on postseason play and live television in the 1991-92 season.

March 30, 1991: Duke beats defending champion UNLV 79-77 in the NCAA Tournament national semifinals. UNLV finishes season at 34-1.

May 26, 1991: The Las Vegas Review-Journal publishes photographs of Richard Perry in a hot tub with three UNLV players. Perry pleaded guilty in 1984 to conspiring to commit sports bribery in a Boston College point-shaving scandal.

June 7, 1991: Tarkanian announces resignation as UNLV basketball coach, effective at the end of the season.

Nov. 13, 1991: NCAA files suit against the governor of Nevada, Tarkanian and three others over the due process law signed by the governor in April.

Dec. 31, 1991: Tarkanian files counterclaim against the NCAA.

Feb. 13, 1992: Federal authorities investigate whether points were shaved in UNLV games, including the Final Four loss to Duke.

Feb. 23, 1992: Tarkanian attempts to rescind his resignation and stay. UNLV officials reject his attempt.

March 3, 1992: Tark coaches his final game at the Thomas & Mack Center as a UNLV head coach. UNLV defeated Utah State, 65-53.

▪  Life after UNLV

April 15, 1992: Tarkanian named head coach of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs.

Dec. 2, 1992: Tarkanian files suit against the NCAA in Nevada state court alleging a conspiracy to drive him from college coaching.

Dec. 18, 1992: Tarkanian fired as Spurs’ coach with a 9-11 record.

Nov. 10, 1993: UNLV accepts three-year probation from the NCAA.

July 28, 1994: Tarkanian and UNLV agree to a settlement. UNLV will pay Tarkanian’s legal fees. Tarkanian will drop his lawsuits against the school filed in 1977 and 1993.

Coming back to the Valley

March 15, 1995: Gary Colson resigns after five seasons as Fresno State basketball coach.

April 4, 1995: Tarkanian flies from Reno to Fresno to interview for the Fresno State coaching job. He is greeted at the Fresno airport by a small army of reporters and fans. Forty-eight hours of Tarkmania hits Fresno.

April 5, 1995: Jerry Tarkanian is hired as Fresno State’s 15th men’s basketball coach in program history. He is only candidate interviewed for the job.

May 14, 1995: Former Boston College shooting guard Chris Herren, Tarkanian’s first high-profile recruit, visits Fresno State.

Oct. 6, 1995: Assistant basketball coach Danny Tarkanian and Fresno State players Chris Herren, Terrance Roberson and James Gray detained by police at gunpoint at about 1 a.m. at the Black Angus restaurant after an argument between Herren and two customers got out of hand. No charges were filed.

Oct. 24, 1995: Chris Herren is placed on athletic probation for his role in the Black Angus disturbance of Oct. 6. According to a police report of the incident, Herren acknowledged having had “too much to drink.”

Nov. 14, 1995: Assistant Fresno State men’s basketball coach Johnny Mack Brown is arrested on charges of felony spousal abuse.

Nov. 15, 1995: Visiting Weber State beats Fresno State 102-86 in Tarkanian’s first game as the Bulldogs’ coach.

Nov. 28, 1995: Fresno State beats visiting Cal State-Northridge 97-77 to give Tarkanian his first victory as the Bulldogs’ coach.

Feb. 15, 1996: Danyell Macklin, a 6-foot 7-inch forward attending his third school in three years, says he’ll sign with Fresno State and play for the Bulldogs in the fall.

Aug. 14, 1996: Danyell Macklin and Daymond Forney, two of Tarkanian’s junior-college transfers, are charged with felony assault in connection with a July 11 brawl. The charges are later reduced to a misdemeanor.

Sept. 29, 1996: Daymond Forney is arrested for misdemeanor hit-and-run, drunken driving and obstructing a police officer in an incident following a birthday party hosted by Bulldogs star point guard Dominick Young. Forney denies being the driver.

Feb. 20, 1997: Fresno State has a 19-point lead with seven minutes to play, then struggles at the end but prevails 76-68 over visiting Wyoming.

March 6, 1997: The Bee reports that law enforcement officials and others are investigating the possibility of point-shaving by Fresno State basketball players amid report that some of the athletes consorted with bookmakers and gamblers. The Feb. 20 game against Wyoming is part of the investigation.

March 12, 1997: A federal grand jury issues a subpoena as part of an FBI investigation into point shaving. The players and Tarkanian deny any wrongdoing.

April 14, 1997: Former Fresno State player Dominick Young files an $11.2 million libel suit against The Bee, claiming that news stories linking him to the FBI’s point-shaving investigation are hurting his prospects for playing professional basketball.

Aug. 22, 1997: Fresno State’s internal investigation finds no direct evidence of point-shaving, but a school report says the FBI’s investigation seems justified considering the amount of circumstantial evidence.

Sept. 9, 1997: Courtney Alexander, a star shooting guard who left Virginia after he was found guilty of domestic violence on his fiancee, passes a Fresno State reference check and joins the Bulldogs basketball team, to become eligible a year later.

Sept. 12, 1997: Fresno State point guard Rafer Alston is suspended after assaulting his ex-girlfriend outside the school’s athletic weight room.

Sept. 15, 1997: A faculty resolution titled “Have We No Shame?” calls for Fresno State to write a new student-athlete Code of Conduct

Nov. 25, 1997: Chris Herren announces that he will voluntarily leave the basketball program for at least several weeks to deal with a four-year-old “personal problem.” Sources confirm that the problem is substance abuse.

Nov. 26, 1997: Less than 24 hours after Herren’s announcement, Fresno State crushes Louisiana State 90-65 at Selland Arena.

Dec. 14, 1997: Fresno State point guard Rafer Alston sustains cuts and scrapes in a car-rollover when he fell asleep at the wheel while driving on Highway 99 to Los Angeles.

Dec. 20, 1997: Chris Herren returns from a three-week rehab but makes only 2 of 14 field goal attempts in Fresno State’s 92-72 loss at Minnesota.

1998: Inducted into the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame.

Jan. 20, 1998: Fresno State suspends Daymond Forney and Avondre Jones for violating a phase in the Student Athlete Assistance Program’s drug-testing policy.

Feb. 1, 1998: Fresno State suspends Avondre Jones for the second time in two weeks and suspends junior forward Tremaine Fowlkes for two games, both for what the school is calling violation of team rules.

April 2, 1998: The NCAA announces it will pay $2.5 million to settle its suit with Tarkanian before trial.

April 30, 1998: Point guard Rafer Alston is suspended from the team for failing to complete domestic violence anger-management classes.

May 9, 1998: Rafer Alston decides to leave Fresno State and declare for the NBA draft, his former high school coach says.

May 19, 1998: College of the Sequoias hires George Tarkanian, Tarkanian’s youngest child, as men’s basketball coach.

May 26, 1998: Eight of the Western Athletic Conference’s 16 schools say they’ll form their own conference in mid-1999. Fresno State is left behind.

June 19, 1998: Dominick Young’s libel lawsuit against The Bee is dismissed by Fresno County Superior Court at Young’s request.

March, 16, 2000: Fresno State plays in its first NCAA Tournament game since the 1983-84 season. The Bulldogs lose to Wisconsin 66-56.

Dec. 8, 2000: Fresno State issues a news release saying the NCAA has ruled that point guard Tito Maddox is suspended for eight games because he accepted benefits in an agent-related trip to Las Vegas.

Jan. 25, 2001: Tarkanian becomes the eighth coach to reach the 750-victory mark at the major college level, defeating Texas-El Paso 108-56.

March 16, 2001: Fresno State beats California 82-70 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. It is the Bulldogs’ only NCAA Tournament win in the Tarkanian era.

May 8, 2001: Fresno State breaks ground on the Save Mart Center.

May 21, 2001: Fresno State dismisses point guard Tito Maddox for accepting extra benefits.

Dec. 1, 2001: The NCAA investigates allegations that center Melvin Ely received extra benefits from a sports agency. Ely is held out for a total of six games after the NCAA rules he received an extra benefit.

March 7, 2002: Fresno State beats Louisiana Tech 72-69 in the quarterfinals of the Western Athletic Conference tournament in Tulsa. It is Tarkanian’s last victory as a coach. Two nights later, host Tulsa routs the Bulldogs 81-65.

March 13, 2002: Temple beats Fresno State 81-75 in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament. After the game, Temple coach John Chaney takes the microphone from the public-address announcer at Selland Arena and tells the crowd of 5,050 Tarkanian was one of college basketball’s all-time “greats” and he was “saddened to see him go.” The 71-year-old coach’s retirement becomes official two days later at a news conference on campus.

▪  Accolades

2006: Inducted into the Riverside Sport Hall of Fame.

2007: Inducted into the Riverside City College Hall of Fame.

Sept. 8, 2013: Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

Oct. 6, 2013: Inducted into Pasadena City College Court of Champions/Hall of Fame.

Oct. 19, 2013: Given a standing ovation at Bulldog Stadium during the Fresno State-UNLV football game.

Oct. 30, 2013: A bronze statue of Tarkanian, sitting as if at courtside and chewing on his trademark towel, is unveiled at UNLV.

March 1, 2014: Fresno State retires jersey No. 2, Tarkanian’s number when he played for the Bulldogs, in front of 14,801 fans at halftime ceremony in the Save Mart Center.

Compiled by George Hostetter. Contact him:, (559) 441-6272 or @GeorgeHostetter on Twitter.