Gerald Eugene “Jerry” Sloan was born March 28, 1942 was the former coach of the Utah Jazz of the NBA. He was one of the most recognizable coaches in the history of NBA.
David Stern, the NBA commissioner, regarded Sloan as “one of the greatest and respected coaches in NBA history”.
He is the third in all-time NBA wins with his 1,221-803 record. He is only the fifth coach to reach the 1,000 win mark and the only coach to have 1,000 wins or more with only one team. Sloan led the Jazz into 15 consecutive playoff appearances that spanned from 1989 to 2003. He is one of the three coaches in the NBA history to have a 15 or more consecutive season with a winning record along with other greats Phil Jackson and Pat Riley.
Jerry Sloan played for the Baltimore Bullets when he was drafted sixth overall in the 1965 NBA Draft. He only played one season for the Bullets and moved to play with the Chicago Bulls. He was known for his defensive ability and earned him the nickname “The Original Bull”.
He played in two All-Star games and was named in the NBA All-Defensive First Team four times and in the Second Team twice. He helped the Bulls to acquire one division title, the only title that the franchise had before the Michael Jordan era. His career in the NBA was shortened because of his knee injuries.
His coaching career started when he coached for the Evansville Thunder of the Continental Basketball Association in the 1984 season. Then, when Frank Layden stepped down as the head coach, Jerry Sloan was chosen by the Jazz to be the coach. He had a tremendous coaching career with the Jazz. He led the team in a 16 consecutive playoff appearances. He coached stars such as Karl Malone, John Stockton, Mark Eaton, Tom Chambers, Antoin Carr, Jeff Hornacek and Jeff Malone.
Sloan brought the Jazz the six division championships and ten seasons of having over fifty wins. He lead the Jazz team of the 1997 and 1998 squad into the NBA Finals, both were against the Chicago Bulls and both they lost to them. After the Stockton-Malone era, he had the rising stars Carlos Boozer, Andrei Kirilenko and Deron Williams.
In 2004, Sloan was not able to bring the Utah Jazz for the first time in 18 seasons. In April 2009, he was announced, along with his former point guard John Stockton, to the Basketball Hall of Fame. He resigned on February 10, 2011 along with his assistant Phil Johnson, and some say that his issues with the players prompted this move but he denied these allegations.