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News: Coaching Great Jerry Tarkanian To Enter PCC Court of Champions

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Jerry Tarkanian, a legendary Pasadena City College alumnus and head coach of the Lancers' 1967 state champion men's basketball team, has been selected as just the 17th individual to join the PCC Dick Ratliff Court of Champions.

Tarkanian's selection was made by the PCC Sports Hall of Fame committee in a meeting held Tuesday. On Wednesday, Tarkanian was informed of his honor in a congratulatory phone call from Ratliff, the committee chairman and curator of the PCC Sports Hall of Fame, to him at his home in Las Vegas.  

A bronze bust of Tarkanian's image will be sculpted by Vic Riesau, the same artist who created the other 16 busts located in the prestigious Court that stands just outside of PCC's Robinson Stadium. It is the first time since 2006 that a bust has been commissioned. The official on-campus induction ceremony that will include the yet-to-be announced 2013 Hall of Fame athletes class has tentatively been set for Sunday, October 6.

This year has become a special one for Tarkanian, who will be officially inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September. The University of Nevada-Las Vegas is honoring Tarkanian with a life-size bronze statue outside of the Rebels' basketball arena, the Thomas & Mack Center, to be unveiled later this year. 

Tarkanian played at PCC (1950-51) and went on to coach here for two seasons from 1966-68. In his two years, the program compiled an extraordinary 67-4 record as he coached the '67 Lancers state champion and the '68 state runner-up squads. He continued a highly successful career head coaching at the NCAA Division I level, including directing UNLV to the 1990 national championship. 

Tarkanian, 82, who also had coaching tenures at Long Beach State and Fresno State, guided his teams to four Final Four appearances. His .794 winning percentage is fourth best in NCAA history. 

"Tark the Shark" is considered the greatest basketball coach in California Community College history, winning a record four straight state championships from 1964-67, including the first three at Riverside City College. He was inducted into the CCCAA State Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

In his 38 years of collegiate coaching, he never had a losing season and only three times did he not reach at least 20 victories in a season. His teams won 30 or more games 10 times. He was the winning head coach in an incredible 988 college games, 778 at the major university level.

In 1999, Tarkanian was named as part of PCC's "Distinguished Alumni" during the college's 75th anniversary. 

The PCC Court of Champions was created by Ratliff in 2001 and its array of busts is a Who's Who in sports history, including such athletic greats as Jackie Robinson, Darrell Evans, Charles Paddock, and Ellsworth Vines. Tarkanian will be the sixth person honored in the Court for PCC coaching achievements.

Here are the elite 16 Court of Champion members that Tarkanian will join later this year:

Ron Ballatore (1967-1978, Pasadena City College men's swim coach, directed school record 5 state titles, 7 SoCal champions, 10 conference crowns)

Ray Bartlett (1937-1939, Pasadena Junior College, 4-sport athlete, California Community College Sports Hall of Fame)

Darrell Evans (1966-1967, PCC, baseball, basketball, MLB 400 home run club, CCC Hall of Fame)

Carol Fletcher (1922-1924, Pasadena High School, diving, field hockey, bronze medalist in 3-meter diving at 1924 Olympics)

Elizabeth Jensen (1920-1957, PJC-PCC women's athletic director, created an annual scholarship endowment in her name for sophomore transfers and Lancer annual sports award winners)

Tom Mallory (1937-1954, PJC head football coach, 1938 state champions, school athletic director)

Irv Noren (1942-1943, PJC baseball, basketball, member of two World Series champion teams for the New York Yankees, 1954 All-Star)

Charles Paddock (1915-1918, PHS track and field, gold medalist in the 100 dash at 1920 Olympics)

Jackie Robinson (1937-1939, PJC four-sport athlete, Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, College Baseball Hall of Fame, 20th century icon)

Mack Robinson (1935-1937, PJC track and field, silver medalist in the 200 at 1936 Olympics, PCC's football stadium named after the two Robinson brothers)

Geralyn Shepard (1968-1990, PCC women's tennis coach, directed 2 Ojai champion teams, 2 state singles champions, CCC Hall of Fame)

Carol Spanks (1954-1956, PCC 4-sport athlete, 13-time, All-American softball player)

James "Slick" Stocks (1926-1929, PHS-PJC, earned an amazing 11 letters in six different sports)

John Thurman (1938-1960, PJC-PCC baseball coach, 12 conference champions, 1950 state champions)

Jerry Todd (1960-1991, PCC gymnastics coach, 126-meet win streak, 19 national titles)

Ellsworth Vines (1927-1929, PHS, tennis player, winner of 1932 U.S. Open and Wimbledon singles crowns)

[Archive Photo of Jerry Tarkanian with his signature style of chewing on a towel during games]

Release Date: 05/16/2013
Contact: Robert Lewis , Sports Information
Phone: (626) 585-7018
Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu