One of the most winningest coaches in NBA history has passed away. The Utah Jazz revealed that longtime head coach Jerry Sloan died early Friday morning at the age of 78 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia.

Sloan spent the vast majority of his 46-year pro player and coaching career with the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz. As a player, Sloan was drafted by the then Baltimore Bullets in 1965 but was traded to the Bulls the next season. In Chicago, Sloan was their first star player and retired after 10 seasons with the team. Sloan’s #4 was retired by the Bulls, becoming the first player to have his number retired by the team.

In the following years, Sloan went into coaching. He began his career in Chicago but after three seasons, Sloan went to Utah in 1988 where he remained for the rest of his career. With the Bulls and Jazz, Sloan won a total of 1,221 games, ranking fourth all-time. While he never won an NBA championship, Sloan’s Jazz teams were in the NBA Finals twice, both losing to the Bulls. Sloan was inducted in the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009 and retired from coaching in 2011.

The lack of a title might have led some to leave Sloan out on their NBA coaching Mount Rushmore but he was definitely one of the best. The Jazz had been in the playoffs for Sloan’s first 15 years with the team and only missed the playoffs in four of his 23 years coaching the Jazz. Some head coaches don’t even come close to coaching for 15 years, Jerry Sloan not only did that but he made the playoffs each year. Other than Gregg Popovich, no one has seemed to replicate that kind of longevity and consistency.

Over the past few days, it was apparent Sloan wasn’t in good health. Jazz legend Karl Malone reached out, asking for prayers for his former coach. Tributes began pouring in for the coaching legend as he will be remembered fondly.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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