Jerry Sloan: The eternal coach

Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan has been coaching so long, when he first started basketball was played on ice, and the object of the game was to hurl spears at monsters. Earth was flat. Electricity didn’t exist yet. Neither did light or sound. The continents had not yet separated.

On November 7 the Jazz beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, getting Sloan the 1,000th win of his NBA head coaching career. He is the only coach in league history to pass that win total with just one team.

Second on the list of one-team wins as a head coach is Red Auerbach with 795 (Boston Celtics).

Third is Gregg Popovich with 647 Spurs wins.

Only three NBA coaches have more total wins than Sloan: Lenny Wilkens (1,332), Don Nelson (1,287) and Pat Riley (1,195). Of those three coaches, only Riley (65.6%) has a higher winning percentage than Sloan (60.3%).

Now in his 21st season coaching the Jazz, Sloan is the longest-tenured head coach in NBA history and has the longest current tenure of any head coach in pro basketball, baseball, football or hockey.

Since Sloan became Utah’s coach there have been 225 coaching changes in the NBA.

When Sloan retires, it’s safe to predict that it’ll be on his own terms.

Author: Inside Hoops has been a world leader in NBA basketball coverage for over 20 years. Read our blog, but also be sure to read our main website on