Former Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan Passes Away

Former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan has passed away due to complications from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia, the team announced today in a press release. Sloan was 78 years old.

“Jerry Sloan will always be synonymous with the Utah Jazz,” the club 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.”

After a two-and-a-half-year stint coaching the Bulls from 1979-82, Sloan took over as Utah’s head coach during the 1988/89 season. He remained in that role for 23 years, compiling a 1,127-682 (.623) regular season record with the franchise during that time. He also won 96 postseason contests with the Jazz, leading the club to two NBA Finals appearances against Michael Jordan‘s Bulls in 1997 and 1998.

Sloan’s 1,221 wins as an NBA head coach place him fourth in league history, behind only Don Nelson, Lenny Wilkens, and Gregg Popovich. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.

Prior to becoming an NBA coach, Sloan was a standout player, having been drafted fourth overall by the Baltimore Bullets in 1965. He spent most of his playing career in Chicago, earning a pair of All-Star berths and six All-Defensive nods for the Bulls.

We at Hoops Rumors send our condolences to Sloan’s family and friends.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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15 thoughts on “Former Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan Passes Away

  1. mcdusty49

    Just saw him on the Last Dance and thought how awesome his response was to the beat down they got from the Bulls in the game where they set the record for least points scored…class act through and through, RIP coach

  2. hOsEbEeLiOn

    Sad that he never won a ring. One of the greatest coaches game has ever seen.

  3. mdunkel

    RIP Mr. Sloan. I had many,many fun nights watching your teams play. Always competitive and fun to watch.

  4. windycitykid89

    RIP Jerry. One of the greats in Basketball, not only as a player but as a coach as well.

  5. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    A truly legendary coach like Jerry Sloan is respected by his community, his peers and those he coached, and Sloan checked all those boxes multiple times. Sports and the world in general could use many, many more of him.

  6. Gary

    Sloan did everything the right way. What an amazing guy. Hard-nosed player with the bulls that formed a great backcourt with Norman Van Lier.

    One thing I remember, a story as coach he would tell players that if they’re going to autograph stuff make their name legible so it can be read. Have respect for the entire process in the game. Little things like that he was a teacher through and through.

  7. Chucktoad1

    Such an influence on the modern game. Spacing, rim protection and pick and roll, pick and roll after pick and roll. Jerry coach of the team that ingrained basketball into my soul.

  8. jessaumodesto

    Sad. I wonder if this had anything to do with the Jordan documentary?

    • 55bums

      Sloan was great at Evansville as well
      Great rivalry with Indiana State which had Butch Wade and Jerry Newsom

  9. mlbnyyfan

    It had everything to do with the Jordan documentary. He’s was fed up watching Jordan strip the ball from the mailman end of game 6 and then watch Jordan push off on Russell. What could of been if game 7 happen. I know I’m tired of watching Charles Smith gets fouled multiple times in Game 5 on Conference finals.

  10. x%sure

    He was a leader on a good & entertaining Bulls team before Jordan arrived, with Love Walker VanLier but no breakthrough. They did get some TV time but not much. Sloan was balls-out.

    He may have been the strictest there is as a coach, by image anyway, so despite all the winning, a player clash like with Deron Williams was inevitable. Story-
    link to sports.yahoo.com
    People around Cleveland were angry about Deron’s small contribution to the Cavs and I wondered about that and Sloan’s end at Utah.

  11. Deron blew it. He had the perfect situation to be successful in Utah. He thought he was smarter than Coach Sloan.

    Dad, really. RIP Coach!!

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