WCHA winningest coach Sauer named Legend of Hockey honoree

Coaching veteran Jeff Sauer has been named by the Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation as its 2013 Legend of Hockey recipient.

A veteran of 31 years coaching in the WCHA where he is also the conference’s winningest coach, Sauer is the only person in league history to coach 30 seasons.

After his playing career at Colorado College in the mid-1960s, Sauer joined Bob Johnson as an assistant at CC and then followed Johnson to Wisconsin in a similar capacity in 1968. In 1971, Sauer became head coach at CC and coached there until 1982, where he then took over Wisconsin and coached the Badgers the next 20 years.

Sauer ranks fifth all-time in games coached (1244) and is eighth overall in college hockey wins at 655.

About 40 years ago, Sauer became involved with former Chicago Black Hawks’ star Stan Mikita, assisting him with summer camps for the hearing-impaired. For the past six years, Sauer has been working with the U.S. Deaflympics program and is currently assembling a squad to participate in the World Deaf Hockey Championships in Helsinki, Finland, at the end of March.

His work with the Deaflympics led to another passion of his, coaching the U.S. Sled Hockey team the past three years. Sauer will be taking a team to Seoul, South Korea, for the World Championships in April.

Sauer is also a disciplinary judge for the IIHF World Hockey Championships and still serves as the assistant to the commissioner in the WCHA. He was awarded the USA Hockey Distinguished Achievement Award in 2000 and in 2011, was honored by the NHL as a recipient of their Lester Patrick Award.

Sauer will be formally honored along with this year’s Hobey Baker Award winner at the Hobey Baker Award banquet on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in St. Paul, Minn.