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Dan Ayala


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Dan Ayala, 81, of Las Vegas, passed away September 17, 2018. He was born April 29, 1937, in Roswell, New Mexico, and was a resident of Las Vegas since 1973.

He was a successful basketball coach at the high school boys, junior college and collegiate men’s levels in California before arriving in Las Vegas, first as Jerry Tarkanian’s lead assistant at UNLV from 1973-1975 and ultimately as the head coach of the Lady Rebels from 1975-1980 where his teams went 109-23, a winning percentage of .827 that remains the best in program history.

He then became a successful entrepreneur by starting a small retail operation with his wife, Donna, and growing it to over 20 stores in airports and venues in Las Vegas and Denver.

Dan was preceded in death by his father and mother, George and Sophia Ayala; and his sister, Helen Hostettler.

He is survived by his wife, of 31 years, Donna Ayala; his sister, Rita (George) Valdez; brother, Paul (Maria) Ayala; his five sons, Brian Ayala, Steve Ayala, Randy Ayala, Danny (Nancy) Ayala and David Ayala; daughter, Christi (Richard) Powell; and his ten grandchildren.

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Memorial services were held at 10 a.m. Thursday, September 27 at Palm Mortuary.

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