Tom Smart, Deseret News
Hall of Famer Rod Carew, left, and former Utah Jazz coach Frank Layden share a laugh at the Triple-A All-Star Game luncheon Wednesday, July 13, 2011, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz legend Frank Layden celebrated his 80th birthday on Thursday.

The former Jazz coach, president and ambassador kept his birthday wish pretty simple.

"I want to stay healthy, and I want to celebrate these (birthdays)," Layden said in an interview with Ch. 4. "Someone suggested that we should celebrate them now every 21/2 months. I don't want that. I'm looking forward to being 100."

Layden became the Jazz general manager in 1979 when the team was in the process of relocating from New Orleans. Two years later, he became the coach and helped Utah win its first division championship (Midwest) in 1983-84.

Layden's humor and love for Utah — the state and its people — have made him a cherished community asset for decades. A No. 1 jersey was retired in his honor in 1988.

His son, Scott Layden, is a current assistant coach for the Jazz.

— Jody Genessy