Jerry Sloan passes away

#1
The McLeansboro native and longtime Jazz head coach passed away today at the age of 78 following complications from Parkinson's and Lewy body dementia. He was an all-state player in high school and later went on to play in college at Evansville. He was an expansion pick of the Bulls (after starting his career with the Bullets) and teamed on the early teams with players like Bob Love, Norm Van Lier, and Chet Walker. After his playing career ended, he was hired by his alma mater Evansville but stepped down five days after he was hired due to personal reasons. That same season would be the season when Evansville's entire basketball team was killed in a plane crash when the team's plane attempted to take off. Sloan later became a scout and assistant coach before being hired as the Bulls head coach in 1979. He only lasted a few seasons before being let go and later ended up in Utah where he spent 23 years.
 
#2
Chicagoland
RIP Jerry, one of my favorite players and coaches. Wonder how different his life would have been if he'd stayed in Champaign. But I doubt he ever looked back.
 
#3
Deep South Illinois
Jerry Sloan was an amazing person. He was from my home town but grew up, in the country, on the west side of Hamilton County. The Sloan family and my mom's family grew up together, going to a one room school, working the fields together, hitching rides into town together, playing ball together, etc. They had cows, pigs and chickens and the fields to take care of and everybody pitched in. I think there were 10 or 11 Sloan children and my grandparents had 12. The farm mentality of working long and working hard was the driving force behind how he lived, played and coached. In fact, when he built his home around McLeansboro, he built it out in a rural area.
When we were kids he came home and helped put on basketball camps. For a kid, who loved sports, and have one of your idols, who you watched on TV, come home and put on a basketball camp, was an unbelievable experience. He was genuine. I seen him several times a few years later when his son Brian was playing for McLeansboro and he called you by name and treated you like you were something special. He'll be missed and our prayers are with the family.
 
#5
The McLeansboro native and longtime Jazz head coach passed away today at the age of 78 following complications from Parkinson's and Lewy body dementia. He was an all-state player in high school and later went on to play in college at Evansville. He was an expansion pick of the Bulls (after starting his career with the Bullets) and teamed on the early teams with players like Bob Love, Norm Van Lier, and Chet Walker. After his playing career ended, he was hired by his alma mater Evansville but stepped down five days after he was hired due to personal reasons. That same season would be the season when Evansville's entire basketball team was killed in a plane crash when the team's plane attempted to take off. Sloan later became a scout and assistant coach before being hired as the Bulls head coach in 1979. He only lasted a few seasons before being let go and later ended up in Utah where he spent 23 years.
He was actually an Illini for a short while. Started his freshman year, went home to Gobblers Knob at Thanksgiving, and never returned. Too big of a transition at the Big U.