The Utah Jazz announced today the decision by Jerry Sloan to return as head coach for the 2009-10 season, which will mark his 22nd season at the helm of the Jazz.
“We have been blessed as an organization that Jerry Sloan has been with us as long as he has. Jerry is the standard for hard work and consistency,” said Greg Miller, CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. “Jerry has brought a level of credibility to the Utah Jazz that nobody else could. I am excited that we’ll have Jerry with us through 2010.”
Sloan has been Utah’s head coach since assuming the reigns from former head coach Frank Layden on December 9, 1988. The fourth-winningest coach in NBA history (1113-734), Sloan is the longest tenured active coach with one team in major professional sports, and is also the longest tenured head coach in NBA history. Earlier this season Sloan (1019-613 with Jazz) became the first NBA head coach to win 1,000 games with one team, and currently ranks 224 victories ahead of Red Auerbach (second in all-time wins with one team) and 360 wins ahead of San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich (third all-time), the only other active coach in the top five.
“I look forward to watching our team continue to grow and mature,” said Sloan. “I am grateful for all the opportunities Larry and Gail Miller have provided to me.”
Since Sloan’s hiring there have been a total of 225 coaching changes (counting interim coaches) in the NBA. Every team in the league has made at least two changes except for Utah. In addition five current NBA teams did not exist when Sloan took the helm in Utah, and two others were just over a month into their inaugural seasons. Sloan has coached 123 different Jazz players in regular season games during his time.
“We appreciate Jerry’s continued commitment to our organization,” said Utah Jazz President Randy Rigby. “His coaching style, approach to the game and values portray everything we could ever look for in a coach.”
Over his first 20 seasons, Sloan has produced two conference championships, seven division titles, 16 consecutive winning seasons, 12 seasons with 50-plus wins and 18 playoff appearances. He is seeking his third straight Northwest Division title in 2008-09.