Wife of Jazz coach gives peek into private life, part 2

Save Story

Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY -- It's been a trying season for Jerry Sloan. His players have suffered an unprecedented run of injuries, and his team could be out in the first round by Monday night.

Off the court has been very difficult, too. There was the passing of Larry Miller, the only Jazz boss he's ever known, a couple of old Bulls teammates also died, and recently Jerry lost his best friend, his older brother Buck.

One person who has been there for Jerry through it all is his second wife Tammy. Jerry remarried two years after his first wife, Bobbye, died of cancer.

Jerry and Tammy Sloan talk just outside the locker room in their usual post-game routine. We caught them after game three against the Lakers, a thrilling victory for Jerry, who's winding down his 21st season as Jazz head coach.

"You know, sometimes after a game or something, if they've played hard and they've lost, he's OK with that. But if they have malfunction, he's not very happy, and he'll bring it home. After a game, we'll come home and we'll sometimes stay up and we'll talk and talk and talk and try to just change the subject," Tammy said.

For the past two seasons, Tammy has seen the Jazz coach after the good games and the bad. The two met in the summer of 2005, one year after Jerry's first wife, Bobbye, died of cancer. By March or April of 2006, Tammy says the two were talking marriage.

She says she's been surprised by her husband's job. "I knew they worked a lot and stuff, but I've been surprised how much they work. I don't think anybody has any idea how much they work and how much they're on the road. I mean, it's been wonderful; it's been like a whole new world."

It's been a whole new world for Jerry as well. He has three children and nine grandchildren living throughout Illinois. Tammy has a 12-year-old son Rhett from a previous marriage.

"You know, when you're around a little kid a lot, you know, they keep you young. And you know, Jerry's pretty hip when he's not at the Jazz game. All you all see is serious, serious, but he's pretty fun when he's not there," Tammy said.

When Jerry's not working, he loves to return to his Illinois farm. That love was diminished somewhat recently when his best friend and older brother Buck passed away. Tammy gave him the news.

"Buck was like his dad, because his dad passed away when Jerry was four. So Buck was his best buddy in the whole world, so that's not there anymore. When we went back for the funeral and he woke up the day of the funeral and said, ‘I don't know what we're gonna do today, this is what we did and this was our time.' And it was really upsetting, and it was really hard to talk about. So I don't know what his desire's gonna be after this season," she said. "I mean, we have a beautiful house here and we love it here, so…" she added.

"Here" is a Riverton home nestled next to a golf course, with a beautiful view of the mountains. They have a full acre of property and several tractors for Jerry to work on. Whether or not he'll have time to work on them this fall remains to be seen.

Tammy says she thought Sloan would retire after last year. "I know this year, going into the year he was so excited because there were so many good guys. And then we were plagued by all those injuries, which was a shocker. But I don't know, he loves, loves doing what he does," she said.

Whatever Jerry decides, they'll do it as a family.

Tammy is a former vice president of sales for a large food services company but retired last year. She spends lots of her free time these days working with local charities

Of course Tammy's hoping to cheer on the Jazz in at least one more home game. If the jazz can beat the Lakers in game five Monday night, they'll be back in Salt Lake for game six on Thursday night.

E-mail: kaiken@ksl.com

Related links

Related stories

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics

Utah JazzUtahSports
Kathy Aiken


    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast