Former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan dies at 78

Former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan died Friday after a battle with dementia and Parkinson's disease. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI
Former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan died Friday after a battle with dementia and Parkinson's disease. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

May 22 (UPI) -- Former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan died Friday. He was 78.

The Jazz said Sloan died due to complications from Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia, a progressive form of the brain disease.


"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.

"Like Stockton and Malone as players, Jerry Sloan epitomized the organization. He will be greatly missed. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Tammy, the entire Sloan family and all who knew and loved him."

Sloan was a two-time All-Star and a six-time All-Defensive Team selection during an 11-year tenure as an NBA player before a 26-year tenure as an NBA coach.

He coached the Chicago Bulls for three seasons before he became a Jazz assistant coach in 1985. He was hired as Jazz head coach in 1988.


Sloan led the Jazz to a 1,127-682 record in 23 seasons as coach. He posted a 96-100 post-season record, including two Western Conference titles.

Sloan ranks fourth in NBA history in wins, behind only Don Nelson, Lenny Wilkens and Gregg Popovich. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. He coached his final season for the Jazz in 2010 before he returned to the franchise as a senior basketball advisor in 2013.

Sloan's tenure with the Jazz included a 1998 NBA Finals loss to the Chicago Bulls. That series was documented as part of ESPN's The Last Dance series, which profiled Michael Jordan's final season with the Bulls.

Jazz legends Karl Malone and John Stockton teamed up under Sloan for several productive post-season runs. Malone said Monday on a Zoom call that Sloan was "not doing well" and needed prayers.

Sloan is survived by his wife, Tammy, and four children.

Notable deaths of 2020

Richard Thornburgh
Richard "Dick" Thornburgh, former attorney general of the United States and former governor of Pennsylvania, takes a seat at the witness hearing after U.S. Chief Justice nominee Judge John Roberts testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on September 15, 2005. Thornburgh died on December 31 at age 88. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

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