ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Former Chicago Bulls All-Star and former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan has died at the age of 78. He passed away from complications due to Parkinson’s disease and to dementia.
Sloan first played for the Bulls when they were an expansion team in 1966. He was a two-time All-Star and four times he made the NBA’s All-Defensive team. His jersey number four is retired by the Bulls.
Sloan later was an assistant coach and a head coach for the Bulls until he was fired in 1982. In 1988 he became the head coach of the Utah Jazz. He led them to the NBA finals twice in 1997 and ’98.
Sloan is the fourth winningest head coach in NBA history with 1,221 wins.
The Bulls have released the following statement from Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf regarding the passing of Sloan:
“Jerry Sloan was ‘The Original Bull’ whose tenacious defense and nightly hustle on the court represented the franchise and epitomized the city of Chicago. Jerry was the face of the Bulls organization from its inception through the mid-1970s, and very appropriately, his uniform No. 4 was the first jersey retired by the team. A great player and a Hall-of-Fame NBA coach, most importantly, Jerry was a great person. Our sympathies go out to the Sloan family and all his many fans.”