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Legendary Jazz Head Coach Jerry Sloan Dies at 78

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Jerry Sloan, the longtime, legendary head coach of the Utah Jazz for 23 seasons of his 26 year coaching career, has died at the age of 78 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia (h/t ESPN).

The Jazz officially announced Sloan’s passing early on Friday with the following statement:

“Jerry Sloan will always be synonymous with the Utah Jazz. He will forever be a part of the Utah Jazz organization and we join his family, friends and fans in mourning his loss,” the team said in a statement. “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 [John] Stockton and [Karl] 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 inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009 following his coaching career. Sloan was also known for his rugged defensive play with the Chicago Bulls, for whom he played for during his playing career, which only lasted 10 years due to a number of injuries.

Sloan averaged 14.0 points per game in his career, highlighted by a career-high 18.3 points per game during the 1970-1971 season with the Bulls. Sloan was a two-time All Star and was names to the NBA All-Defensive First Team four times.

Sloan still ranks in the top five in Bulls’ franchise history points, rebounds, games and minutes.

Sloan eventually served as a Jazz assistant from 1985 to 1989 before taking over as head coach, where he spent the next 23 seasons at the helm before quitting 54 games into the 2010-2011 season, reportedly due to a conflict with then guard Deron Williams, which both Sloan and Williams disputing those reports.

Sloan ended his coaching career with1,221 regular-season victories, behind only Don Nelson and Lenny Wilkens.

 

 

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

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