Jerry Sloan, the longtime coach of the Utah Jazz, died on Friday (May 22) at the age of 78. Sloan had been battling Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia since 2016.
Sloan played for the Chicago Bulls from 1966-1976 and joined the team as an assistant coach after he retired. He was promoted to head coach after one season and spent three years leading the Bulls before he was fired.
He then accepted an assistant coaching job with the Jazz. In his fourth year as an assistant, he was promoted with 65 games left in the season. Sloan went on to coach the Jazz for 23 seasons, leading the team to a record of 1127-682 and to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998. The Jazz lost the Chicago Bulls both years.
His 1,221 career wins rank him 4th all-time amongst NBA head coaches. In 2009, he was elected in the NBA Hall of Fame.
"Jerry Sloan will always be synonymous with the Utah Jazz," the team said in a statement. "He will forever be a part of the Utah Jazz organization, and we join his family, friends, and fans in mourning his loss. We are so thankful for what he accomplished here in Utah, and the decades of dedication, loyalty, and tenacity he brought to our franchise."
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