Jazz sign coach Jerry Sloan to one-year extension
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The Utah Jazz announced today the decision by Jerry Sloan to return as head coach through the 2008-09 season which will mark his 21st season at the helm of the Jazz.
“Jerry has led the Jazz franchise for the past 20 years and I wouldn’t want it any other way,” said Jazz Owner Larry H. Miller. “He teaches the game the way it ought to be played.”
Sloan has been Utah’s head coach since assuming the reins from former head coach Frank Layden on December 9, 1988. Sloan is the franchise’s winningest coach (953-573) and has the longest active tenure with one team of any coach in major professional sports. With 47 more wins, he will achieve the status as the only coach in NBA history to win 1,000 games with the same franchise.
“I feel honored that Larry is extending my contract and I appreciate the opportunity to work with the Jazz team and franchise,” said Sloan.
The coaching achievements for the 65-year-old native of McLeansboro, Ill., speak for themselves with the fourth most NBA wins all-time (1047-694), seventh best winning percentage (.601) in NBA history (500-win minimum), two NBA Finals appearances (1997 and 1998) and six division titles. He has also guided the Jazz to 16 consecutive winning seasons (1988-2004) and eleven 50-win seasons. Sloan’s teams have made 17 trips to the NBA Playoffs (16 w/ Utah: 1989-2003, ‘07) and his 87 playoff wins are the sixth most in NBA history.
“Jerry has been great for this franchise and his leadership is invaluable,” said Utah Jazz President Randy Rigby. “His values and character define the culture of Jazz basketball.”
After leading the team to a 42-40 record in 2003-04, Jerry was selected by the The Sporting News as the NBA Coach of the Year as voted on by his NBA peers, and was runner-up to Memphis’ Hubie Brown for the Red Auerbach NBA Coach of the Year as voted by a panel of national media that covers the NBA. He also finished second to Toronto’s Sam Mitchell in Coach of the Year balloting in 2006-07 after improving the Jazz by 10 games, winning the Northwest Division title while returning them to the playoffs for the first time since 2003.
“Jerry’s perseverance and desire to win is evident every time he steps on the court. He is the right man to be leading our team,” said Jazz General Manager Kevin O’Connor.
Sloan became the fifth coach in NBA history to record 1,000 wins with a victory over Dallas on December 11, 2006. He then passed Larry Brown for fourth on the NBA’s all-time win list (1,010) on January 20, 2007 at Chicago. Since he was hired as Jazz head coach, there have been 196 other NBA head coaching changes and five NBA franchises have joined the league.
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