Jerry Tarkanian beat the odds, challenged the system, and wrinkled the feathers of basketball traditionalist everywhere. But there is no arguing with success. His style, charisma, and basketball IQ produced championships and turned out great players for nearly 40 years. He started his basketball life as a reserve player at Fresno State University, and like so many great coaches before him, Tarkanian became a student of the game, observing and watching, studying and learning. He landed his first coaching position in the junior college ranks, winning four consecutive California championships. “Tark the Shark” then hit the big time leading Long Beach State to NCAA postseason play four straight seasons. His next stop was out east, all the way to Las Vegas, Nevada, where the superstitious coach brought his gameday towel, his full-court pressure defense, and his fastbreak offense to the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels. Tarkanian led UNLV to four Final Fours and one national championship before returning to his alma mater in 1995. Tark guided Fresno State to two NCAA Tournaments before finally retiring in 2002.