50th Season | History Of Jazz Coaches: Jerry Sloan

Ryan Kostecka
Digital Content Writer

As the Utah Jazz celebrate their 50th anniversary this season, it’s a great time to reflect on the long and proud history of the nine coaches who’ve been the leading man of the Jazz. 

From Scotty Robertson in 1974 to Will Hardy in 2022, the Jazz have been blessed with some of the greatest coaches in league history throughout their rich history. Read below for a look back at each coach, and see how the Jazz got to this point in history. 

6.) Jerry Sloan | 1988-2011
The winningest coach in Jazz history and one of the greatest coaches the league has ever seen, Sloan was revolutionary in Utah as he helped lead the Jazz to their two NBA finals appearances. 

Sloan's basketball career took off in college when he became a three-time Indiana Collegiate Player of the Year at Evansville, leading the Purple Aces to back-to-back Division II national titles. After being drafted twice prior, Sloan became the "Original Bull" when he was chosen by Chicago in the 1966 NBA expansion draft. 

After beginning his coaching career at Evansville, Sloan lasted just five days before withdrawing. He joined the Bulls as a scout in 1977 before being promoted to assistant coach the following year. One year later, he was promoted to head coach in 1979 when he led the Bulls for three years. 

After being fired in Chicago, Sloan headed to the Mountain West, where he joined the Jazz as a scout before working his way up to assistant coach. When Layden became president of the Jazz after retiring from coaching, he hired Sloan as the leading man — where he ran the show for 23 years, including an NBA-record 16-straight playoff appearances.

Following a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia in April 2016, Sloan passed away on May 22, 2020, at 78 years old. 

- 2x NBA All-Star
- 6x NBA All-Defense
- No. 4 retired by the Bulls
- Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award
- Top 15 Coaches in NBA History
- No. 1223 retired by the Jazz
- Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

Points: 14.0
Rebounds: 7.4
Assists: 2.5

- Chicago Bulls | 94-121
- Utah Jazz | 1,127-682

CAREER: 1,221-803 | .603 winning percentage