46 Facts About Jerry Colangelo


Jerry Colangelo was born on November 20,1939 and is an American businessman and sports executive.


Jerry Colangelo formerly owned the Phoenix Suns of the NBA, the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA, the Arizona Sandsharks of the Continental Indoor Soccer League, the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League, and the Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball.


Jerry Colangelo was instrumental in the relocation of the original Winnipeg Jets team in the NHL to Phoenix to become the Phoenix Coyotes.


In 2014, Grand Canyon University renamed its Christian based school of business after Jerry Colangelo, replacing Ken Blanchard's namesake.


From December 2015 to April 2016, Colangelo served as Chairman of Basketball Operations for the Philadelphia 76ers, before serving as a special advisor to the team until December 2018.


Jerry Colangelo became the youngest general manager in professional sports in 1968 after being hired as general manager for the Phoenix Suns.


Jerry Colangelo has the second longest tenure running the same NBA franchise, exceeded only by Red Auerbach of the Boston Celtics.


Jerry Colangelo serves as Chairman of the National Italian American Foundation, a nonprofit nonpartisan educational foundation that promotes Italian American culture and heritage.


Jerry Colangelo was born and raised in Chicago Heights, Illinois, to an Italian-American working class family.


Jerry Colangelo played basketball and baseball for Bloom Township High School.


Jerry Colangelo enrolled at the University of Kansas, but transferred to the University of Illinois after prospective teammate Wilt Chamberlain left.


Jerry Colangelo played basketball for the Illinois Fighting Illini, earned All-Big Ten honors, and captained the Illini as a senior.


Jerry Colangelo was later inducted into the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame.


Jerry Colangelo began his sports career in 1966 in professional basketball with the Chicago Bulls.


Jerry Colangelo worked as a marketing director, scout, and assistant to the president of the team.


Jerry Colangelo was the youngest general manager in professional sports.


Jerry Colangelo got off to an unlucky start, losing a 1969 coin flip to the Milwaukee Bucks for the rights to UCLA phenom Lew Alcindor.


Jerry Colangelo had two stints as head coach during that decade, compiling a record of 59 wins and 60 losses.


Jerry Colangelo assembled a group of investors that bought the Suns in late 1987, in the wake of the drug scandal.


Jerry Colangelo subsequently made a trade for Kevin Johnson in 1987.


In 1989, Jerry Colangelo was an essential part of the group that provided financial backing to build America West Arena.


In 1992, Jerry Colangelo traded Jeff Hornacek, Tim Perry, and Andrew Lang to the Philadelphia 76ers for Charles Barkley.


Barkley's relationship with Jerry Colangelo grew sour over the years, and in 1996, he was traded to the Houston Rockets.


Jerry Colangelo eventually turned over the Suns' presidency to his son Bryan, who later left the organization to become general manager of the Toronto Raptors.


On December 7,2015, Jerry Colangelo decided to return to the NBA to become the new chairman of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers, as well as special adviser to the team's managing partner.


Jerry Colangelo stepped down as Chairman of Basketball Operations following the hiring of his son, but he retained his role as special adviser to the managing partner.


Just before his son's later resignation from the position of general manager, Jerry Colangelo attempted to save Bryan's job by threatening to damage the team's NBA relationships.


Jerry Colangelo has been involved in many professional sports teams in Arizona.


Jerry Colangelo assembled a group of investors in 1994 to buy a franchise, a year ahead of MLB's proposed expansion selection meetings.


In 1995, Jerry Colangelo's group was granted an expansion team, the Arizona Diamondbacks.


Jerry Colangelo next brought in Buck Showalter coming off a successful stint as manager of the New York Yankees.


Showalter and Yankees owner George Steinbrenner did not agree to a contract extension, so Jerry Colangelo quickly hired Showalter as future manager of the Diamondbacks.


Jerry Colangelo was forced to resign as Managing General Partner in the summer of 2004, and subsequently sold his interest.


Jerry Colangelo contrasted his approach with that of the Diamondbacks' expansion brethren, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who at the time had finished in either last or next-to-last every season.


Jerry Colangelo claimed that the plan only backfired when the economy went sour and he didn't get as much from baseball's central fund as anticipated.


In 1992, Jerry Colangelo founded the Arena Football League's Arizona Rattlers and owned them until 2005.


Late in the 2004 baseball season, Jerry Colangelo sold his controlling interest in the Arizona Diamondbacks to a group of investors led by Jeff Moorad.


Jerry Colangelo purchased the bankrupt Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park, Arizona.


In 2011, Jerry Colangelo assisted in creating Grand Canyon University's Colangelo School of Sports Business and served as an advisor.


Jerry Colangelo has been named the NBA's Executive of the Year four times.


In 1994, Jerry Colangelo received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.


On May 9,2002, Jerry Colangelo was awarded an honorary degree from Arizona State University.


On November 4,2007, Jerry Colangelo was inducted into the Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor at the halftime of a Suns game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.


Jerry Colangelo is the National Leadership Director of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and is a Hall of Fame inductee.


On Friday, October 21st, 2016, Colangelo was honored by Phoenix Rotary 100, Arizona's first Rotary Club, the prestigious John D Driggs Outstanding Career Achievement and Community Service Award.


Jerry Colangelo is married to Joan, whom he met on a blind date while at college.