- Associated Press - Thursday, February 10, 2011

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A person with knowledge of the situation says Jerry Sloan is stepping down as head coach of the Utah Jazz.

The person told The Associated Press on Thursday that longtime assistant Phil Johnson also will resign. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the resignations have not yet been formally announced.

Salt Lake City television station KSL first reported the pending resignations.

The team has scheduled a 3 p.m. news conference Thursday for what it called a significant announcement.


The 68-year-old Sloan is the longest-tenured head coach in any of the four major sports.

The moves come on the heels of an emotional 91-86 loss Wednesday night to the Chicago Bulls, Utah’s 10th in the last 14 games.

Sloan hinted that something was in the works after delaying his postgame press conference Wednesday for more than 30 minutes because of what he said was a meeting with Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor.

He appeared shaken when first talking with reporters, and said more would be forthcoming Thursday.

The team also immediately sent out a text saying that a Thursday practice had been canceled.

“We just had some things we had to discuss, and we’ll talk to you later on about that,” Sloan said.

Sloan was asked if there was need for a shake-up.

“I don’t think there’s any great need for panic,” he said Wednesday night. “Kevin is always evaluating what we can do or what someone wants to do with another team and that’s part of the business. Every day that’s part of his job.”

Sloan began working for the Jazz as a scout in 1983, became assistant to coach Frank Layden on Nov. 19, 1984, and was named the sixth coach in franchise history on Dec. 9, 1988, when Layden resigned.

He is the only coach in NBA history to win 1,000 games with one team, a feat he accomplished Nov. 7 against Oklahoma City. Sloan’s other wins came with the Chicago Bulls from 1979 to 1982.

While he has headed the Jazz, there have been 245 coaching changes around the league _ 13 alone by the Los Angeles Clippers, and five current NBA teams (Charlotte, Memphis, Toronto, Orlando and Minnesota) did not even exist when Sloan took the helm in Utah.

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