Legendary Utah Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan Dead At 78

ed Jacobsohn /Allsport

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Former Utah Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan died Friday at the age of 78, following a battle with Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy body dementia.

The Jazz announced Sloan’s passing in a statement on their website Friday morning, praising his “dedication” to the organization he led for over two decades as head coach. (RELATED: NBA Season Suspended After Player Tests Positive For Coronavirus)

“Jerry Sloan will always be synonymous with the Utah Jazz,” the organization 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.”

Sloan was the head coach in Utah for 23 years, before retiring in 2011. Sloan’s most memorable teams played in the 1990’s, with the dynamic duo of John Stockton and Karl Malone leading the way. The Jazz won over 60 games and made back to back NBA Finals appearances in the 1996 and 1997 seasons, but were defeated by Michael Jordan’s Bulls each time.

Sloan leaves a legacy as one of the best coaches in NBA history, and by all accounts an even better person. He will be missed, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.