After a battle with complications from Parkinson’s disease, former Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan has passed away at age 78.
On Friday morning, the Utah Jazz announced former head coach Jerry Sloan has passed away due to complications from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. He was 78 years old.
Sloan was head coach of the Jazz for 23 seasons from 1988-2011, with a 1,127-682 regular season record (.623 winning percentage), 96 playoff wins and back-to-back NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998. He was also head coach of the Chicago Bulls, the team he spent most of his playing career with, for three seasons (1979-1982).
At the time of his retirement, Sloan was the longest-tenured coach with one franchise in all of major sports. During his run as the Jazz coach, the rest of the NBA made 245 coaching changes.
Sloan is fourth all-time in regular season coaching wins with 1,221, and he has the second-most wins with one team (Gregg Popovich has passed him in both categories since his retirement) along with a .603 overall winning percentage. He led the Jazz to 16 straight winning seasons, 13 50-win seasons and seven division titles. Sloan was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.
Sloan had been battling Parkinson’s and dementia since 2016. Just this week on a 90’s reunion Zoom call, former Jazz forward Karl Malone said his former coach was not doing well.
“I need to say this because I know that (John) Stockton and I have been talking a lot recently,” Malone said. “Coach (Jerry) Sloan is not doing well, so I want you guys to pray for Coach Sloan.”
Sloan has a banner next to some of his former Jazz players in the team’s home arena, and he was the first player in Bulls’ history to have his number retired when his No. 4 went in the rafters in 1978.