Jerry Sloan, the former Utah Jazz head coach and Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, has passed away.
The Utah Jazz announced on Friday that Sloan has passed away at the age of 78. Sloan had been dealing with a variety of health problems for the last few years. Those problems prevented him from being interviewed for ESPN’s landmark docu-series, The Last Dance.
Sloan rose to prominence in the 1960s as a player for the Chicago Bulls. After retiring from playing, he became the Bulls’ assistant head coach, and took over the team from 1979 to 1982.
He departed the Bulls and soon joined the Jazz, who named him head coach in 1988. From there, Sloan began a coaching career in Utah that crossed four decades.
With Karl Malone and John Stockton on his roster, Sloan’s Jazz made the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998, losing both times to the Chicago Bulls.
At the time of his retirement in 2011, he was No. 3 on the NBA’s all-time wins list by a coach with 1,221 regular season wins. His 98 playoff wins are the sixth-most in NBA history.
Sloan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
Rest easy, Coach ❤️
— utahjazz (@utahjazz) May 22, 2020
Off the court, Sloan was previously known for collecting antique furniture and dolls, as well as tractors. Yahoo! Sports reported in 2011 that he had amassed a collection of 70 tractors, 68 of which he eventually sold.
The NBA lost one of its all-time great coaches and characters today.
Our hearts go out to Coach Jerry Sloan’s family and loved ones.