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Jerry Sloan, Hall of Fame Utah Jazz Coach and Chicago Bulls Player, Dies at 78

Sloan died on Friday from complications of Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia

Jerry Sloan, the long-time head coach of the Utah Jazz and a former NBA player for the Chicago Bulls, has died. He was 78.

The Utah Jazz said in a statement that Sloan died Friday morning from complications from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia.

“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. We are so thankful for what he accomplished here in Utah and the decades of dedication, loyalty and tenacity he brought to our franchise,” the team said in a statement.

The team continued:

“Our Hall of Fame coach for 23 years, Jerry had a tremendous impact on the Jazz franchise as expressed by his banner hanging in the arena rafters. His 1,223 Jazz coaching wins, 20 trips to the NBA Playoffs and two NBA Finals appearances are remarkable achievements. His hard-nosed approach only made him more beloved. Even after his retirement, his presence at Jazz games always brought a roaring response from the crowd. 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 recently seen in the ESPN documentary “The Last Dance” as part of the team’s championship run that was foiled by Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.

Sloan spent 26 years as a coach and spent 23 of those years with the Jazz. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.

As a coach, Sloan finished his career with the third-most wins in NBA history, the sixth-best winning percentage all-time, two NBA Finals appearances and seven division titles. He ranks second in the NBA for the most consecutive games coached with a single franchise.

Sloan played for 11 seasons in the NBA, much of that time for the Chicago Bulls and was well known for his defensive intensity, being named an All-Star twice and four times to the NBA All-Defensive First Team. His career however was cut short by injuries. He was the first player to ever have his jersey number retired by the Chicago Bulls in 1978.