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Images: Las Vegas Strip dims its lights to honor the late Jerry Tarkanian

2/19/2015

It's often been said that no coach personified the city he coached in more than Jerry Tarkanian and Las Vegas. They were a perfect match at a perfect time, and Tark the Shark was beloved like no other sports figure ever has been in a city that's never had a professional team to call its own.

The UNLV Runnin' Rebels of the Tarkanian era were that team Vegas could fully embrace, and Wednesday night they came together to honor the man who made it all happen. At around 10:30 p.m. local time, not long after UNLV's game against Boise State ended at the Thomas & Mack Center, the lights on the always-bright and vibrant Las Vegas Strip went dim as a tribute to Tarkanian, who passed away last week at the age of 84.

It's an honor that previously had been bestowed on only seven individuals after their deaths: U.S. presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan and legendary Vegas performers Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and George Burns. Two UNLV graduates were determined to make Tarkanian the eighth, though, and created a social-media campaign that casinos and local businesses both on and off the Strip quickly got behind.

And thus, it happened. For three minutes, with Tark's family and former players -- and fans who had come from the game -- looking on, the famous city of lights went dark. A fitting tribute to a man who brought local residents so much joy for 19 years.

Here are some images from a special night in Vegas...