Former Wisconsin player and current women’s coach Mark Johnson and coaching legend Jeff Sauer are among four people named recipients of the 2011 Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.
The Badgers duo is joined by NHL Hall of Famer Bob Pulford and long-time USA Hockey executive Toni Rossi.
Currently the head coach of the women’s hockey team at his alma mater, Johnson has led Wisconsin to four NCAA championships (2006, 2007, 2009, 2011) and also served as the head coach of the 2010 silver medal-winning U.S. Olympic IIHF World Championship (2000, 2002).
Johnson, the son of legendary college and NHL coach “Badger” Bob Johnson, was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004 and at one point in his career was an assistant coach at Wisconsin under Sauer.
Sauer spent more than 30 seasons as an NCAA Division I head coach at Colorado College from 1971-1980 and then at Wisconsin from 1983-2002. Sauer won NCAA championships as coach of the Badgers in 1983 and 1990 and ranks eighth on the all-time wins list of college hockey coaches with more than 650 victories (655-532-57) and a winning percentage of .549.
Sauer also is closely involved with preparing and coaching the USA Deaf Olympic Team, having participated in seven Deaflympics and earning a gold medal in 2007 at the IIHF Winter Deaf Olympics. In April 2009, he also coached Team USA to a bronze medal in the first ever World Deaf Hockey Championships. Sauer earned the John “Snooks” Kelley Founders Award from the American Hockey Coaches Association in 2003, presented to individuals in the coaching profession who have contributed to the overall growth and development of the sport of ice hockey in the United States.
The recipients will be honored on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at the RiverCentre in St. Paul, Minn.