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Ex-UNLV Jerry Tarkanian recovering in hospital

Former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian is being treated for pneumonia and a possible heart attack at a Las Vegas hospital according to a family member on April 11.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian is being treated for pneumonia and a possible heart attack at a Las Vegas hospital according to a family member on April 11.

Zafi Diamant, Tarkanian’s son-in-law, said that the 83-year-old Tarkanian's condition was "definitely stable," and that he was awake and talking at Valley Hospital.

Tarkanian, who still needs more tests to determine all his ailments, has been hospitalized since April 9,as a result of weakness, breathing trouble and lethargy.

Tarkanian attended the Final Four last weekend, including Saturday’s Final Four coaches’ luncheon, when the NCAA honors coaches whose teams have participated in the Final Four. Tarkanian took UNLV to the Final Four four times (1977, 1987, 1990 and 1991) and won the national championship in 1990.

It was after the luncheon, according to Tarkanian’s son Danny, that Tarkanian began to feel ill.

Tarkanian was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in September but missed the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announcement for the Class of 2014 during the Championship game because he had already returned to Las Vegas.

Tarkanian, aka Tark the Shark, was known for his colorful behavior, including habitually chewing on a towel during games, and for his public criticisms and legendary clashes with the NCAA. He compiled a 778-202 record during his Division I collegiate coaching career with stops at Long Beach State, UNLV and Fresno State.