Former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian was resting comfortably Monday night at Valley Hospital Medical Center after being unresponsive earlier in the day while being treated for low blood pressure and an infection.
Tarkanian, 84, was in the hospital’s intensive care unit, according to his wife, Lois.
“It was very scary,” Lois Tarkanian said around 9:45 p.m. Monday of her husband’s latest health episode. “The doctors don’t know what happened. But unfortunately that’s how these things happen.”
Earlier Monday, Tarkanian was unresponsive and under heavy medication as doctors battled to get his blood pressure elevated
“It’s a minute-by-minute deal right now,” his son, Danny Tarkanian, said around 9 p.m.
He called his dad’s condition “very, very bad” at the time.
Tarkanian was in good health Sunday, when he spent the day at home watching basketball games, but he was hospitalized at 9:30 a.m. Monday and still communicating at around 2 p.m. But his condition took a turn for the worse after that, Danny Tarkanian said.
Tarkanian has dealt with heart problems for several years. He was hospitalized for 10 days in April 2014 after his second heart attack. He recently has had trouble breathing and talking, but still has made occasional public appearances.
Inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in September 2013, Tarkanian coached the Rebels to the 1990 NCAA championship. He led UNLV from 1973 to 1992, compiling a 509-105 record in 19 seasons, and retired from coaching in 2002 after seven years at Fresno State.
The Rebels host Fresno State on Tuesday at the Thomas & Mack Center, where the court was dedicated in Tarkanian’s honor in 2005. He had planned to attend the game before falling ill.