Jerry Sloan, the NBA Hall of Fame NBA coach, passed away on Friday at the age of 78. Sloan, who spent 23 years at the helm of the Utah Jazz, had battled Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia.
Sloan spent 10 years as a player for the Chicago Bulls before joining the coaching ranks in 1978. His 1,221 wins place him at No. 4 on the NBA all-time winningest coaches list. Sloan spent one year as an assistant and three years as head coach of the Bulls before moving on to the Utah Jazz.
The Jazz released the following statement:
“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.”
The Miller family, who owns the Jazz, had glowing words for Sloan as well.
““It was an honor and a privilege to have one of the greatest and most respected coaches in NBA history coaching our team. We have appreciated our relationship with Jerry and acknowledge his dedication to and passion for the Utah Jazz.
“He has left an enduring legacy with this franchise and our family. The far-reaching impact of his life has touched our city, state and the world as well as countless players, staff and fans. We pray his family will find solace and comfort in Jerry’s life. The Miller family and Jazz organization will be proud to honor him with a permanent tribute.”
In his 26 seasons as a coach, Sloan only had three losing seasons; only one of those came with the Jazz. In 2009, Sloan was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame.Tags: Jerry Sloan, NBA, Utah Jazz