Campus: CSU Fresno -- March 18, 2002
Legendary CSU Fresno Coach Jerry Tarkanian Retires,
Accepts New Role with Save Mart Center
Jerry Tarkanian, one of the winningest coaches in college basketball
history, announced today (March 15) that he is retiring as head coach
of the Fresno State men's basketball team.
Tarkanian, who completed his 38th season as a college coach, is one
of the nation's truly legendary college basketball coaches and among
the top five active coaches in career winning percentage. His 778 career
wins as a Division I coach ranks him seventh highest in the history
of collegiate basketball.
Even though he is retiring as men's basketball coach, Tarkanian will
continue to be associated with Fresno State. Coach Tarkanian will serve
as a senior development consultant to The Save Mart Center at Fresno
State. (See description of new role.)
The Save Mart Center and its 16,000-seat arena will be a centerpiece
of the Fresno State campus and the home of Fresno State basketball.
The $100-million-plus facility is under construction and is slated for
opening in November 2003. The facility is the largest privately supported
building ever undertaken by a California State University campus.
"Coach Tarkanian indicated to me his desire continue his support
for Fresno State by serving in this important new role," Welty
said. "I am pleased the university will continue to benefit from
Jerry Tarkanian's knowledge and experience as we bring the Save Mart
Tarkanian never had a losing season as a college coach and won at least
20 games in six of his seven seasons at Fresno State. That is the longest
20-win streak in school history.
His all-time record is 990-228 and a 153-80 record with the Bulldogs.
"I'm excited about being able to finish my career here at Fresno
State," said Tarkanian, who is a 1955 graduate of Fresno State.
"I've always said this would be my last coaching job and I'm pleased
with the progress we have made. It's gratifying that I was able to help
my alma mater and that I will still be in a position to continue to
help the development of The Save Mart Center here at Fresno State."
Fresno State Athletic Director Scott Johnson said, "Coach Tarkanian
has had an amazing career and he has taken the Fresno State program
to level of national prominence."
Johnson said having Tarkanian maintain a relationship with the Save
Mart Center after his retirement as coach would enable the basketball
program to "continue an orderly transition to the Save Mart Center."
Johnson said a committee will be formed as soon as possible to begin
the search for a new men's basketball coach. The committee is expected
to include representatives of the university, the community, the alumni
and the Bulldog Foundation.
"We're looking ahead at attracting a new coach who will, over the
next four to five years, be able to build his own team on the great
foundation established by Coach
Tarkanian," Johnson said.
"We're very pleased that the coach is making the commitment to
assist the Save Mart Center," Johnson said.
Tarkanian guided the Bulldogs to two consecutive NCAA tournament appearances
and averaged 25.1 wins per season.
Last season, he guided the Bulldogs to a 26-7 record, reaching the second
round of the NCAA tournament. The 26 wins are the second-most in school
history. In addition, Fresno State had a school-record tying 13-game
winning streak. The Bulldogs spent the second half of the season ranked
in the top 25. Tarkanian was selected by his peers as the 2001 Don Haskins
Award winner as WAC Coach of the Year.
He guided the Bulldogs to six consecutive 20-win seasons and seven straight
postseason appearances. During the 1999-00 season, he led the Bulldogs
to the NCAA tournament, ending a 16-year drought for the school. Last
season, he led the Bulldogs to their first-ever WAC championship and
a first round NCAA tournament win over California. Each of the last
two seasons, the Bulldogs were eliminated from the NCAA tournament by
teams that advanced to the Final Four.
Tarkanian, 71, who will turn 72 in August, began his college coaching
career in 1961. His 29 20-win seasons ranks only behind North Carolina's
Dean Smith, who had 30 20-win seasons--the most in collegiate history.
Tarkanian and his wife, Lois, also a Fresno State graduate, donated
$100,000 to the university's Madden Library in the spring of 1998 and
initiated the "Baskets for Books" program, designed to continually
support the library with annual book purchases. The Tarkanians have
four children, Pamela, Jodie, Danny (an assistant coach at Fresno State)
and George (coach at Community College of Southern Nevada) and seven
"Tark will have an enduring legacy here at Fresno State; as a student,
a player, an alumnus, a coach and as a person who really cares about
improving this community," Johnson said.
Retiring Fresno State Men's Basketball Coach Jerry Tarkanian will have
an important, ongoing role with the university as the Senior Development
Consultant for the Save Mart Center. This arrangement enables Coach
Tarkanian to remain vitally involved with his alma mater as he builds
support for the Save Mart Center. The university also gains the benefit
of having Coach Tarkanian's experience available as the Save Mart Center
heads toward its opening day.
Coach Tarkanian will be a highly visible member of the Save Mart Center
management team. He will represent the Save Mart Center in Central California
and throughout the nation. During the year there will be many opportunities
to highlight Coach Tarkanian's achievements as coach and recognize his
contribution to sport as he undertakes his new role with the Save Mart
Tarkanian will relocate his office to the Save Mart Center management
offices located at 1530 E. Shaw Ave., Suite 109. That office handles
all of the marketing and sales for the Save Mart Center and has coordinated
the center's highly successful Personal Seat License campaign. That
campaign has already seen over 80 percent of the seats in the new center
reserved by Bulldog fans, students and major donors.
The continuation of fund raising to support the Save Mart Center at
Fresno State is a vital part of the ongoing development program within
the university. There are still many key gift opportunities, including
a few luxury suites and Personal Seat Licenses available at various
levels that require direct "sales" efforts. A strong, well-connected,
highly visible professional is needed to work in concert with the Vice
President for University Advancement and key prospective donors for
Fresno State's University Advancement Office will provide office space,
secretarial support, meeting and travel expenses appropriate to successfully
complete the plan for the development of key prospective major gift
donors for the Save Mart Center.
In his new role at Fresno State, Coach Tarkanian will:
- Develop plans and strategies regarding key major gifts. As senior
consultant, he will work directly with the Fresno State's Vice President
for University Advancement.
- Make direct contacts with assigned prospective major gift donors
in concert with the Vice President of University Advancement, entertain
these prospective donors both on and off campus and travel when necessary.
- Be available to the University Development Staff for special events
and individual meetings, where appropriate, at the direction of the
Vice President of University Advancement.
- Work with the Save Mart Center staff in the sale of luxury suites
and Personal Seat Licenses.
More information at www.SaveMartCenter.com