When news broke of the Feb. 11 death of legendary basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, the campus naturally flocked to the bronze statue installed on campus in his honor. Along with flowers, many left hand towels as a fitting tribute to the coach's habit of chomping on them to relieve stress during games.
A week later, more than 40 properties along the famed Las Vegas Strip, as well as the famous Reno arch, dimmed their lights for Tark. That rare honor came about thanks in part to a social media campaign started by communication studies alumni Tony Cordasco, '83, and Scott Gulbransen, '95.
On March 1, the Thomas & Mack Center -- The Shark Tank, as it is often called -- filled with more than 4,000 fans during a televised memorial service emceed by former UNLV quarterback and ESPN personality Kenny Mayne, '82 BA Communication Studies. On display was the 1990 NCAA Championship trophy and on hand were such former players as Reggie Theus, Moses Scurry, Jackie Robinson, Ricky Sobers, Leon Symanski, and current head basketball coach Dave Rice.
Before the ceremony fittingly closed out with Frank Sinatra's "My Way," Eldridge "El Hud" Hudson, who played under Tark 1983-87, said, "It's amazing a man this big can change a whole valley."