ROCKFORD, Ill (WIFR) -- Bulls legend and former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan has passed away at the age of 78 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia.
Sloan, nicknamed "The Original Bull," played in Chicago from 1967-1976, and has his number 4 retired in his honor. He was also head coach of the Bulls from 1979-1982.
Sloan is most well known for his lengthy run as the head coach of the Utah Jazz, spanning from 1988-2011. In 1997 and 1998, Sloan's Jazz faced the Bulls in the NBA Finals.
The Jazz released a statement upon learning of his death:
“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.
“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.”