Jeff Sauer, the all-time leader in Western Collegiate Hockey Association victories and the fourth-winningest coach in college hockey history, will retire from his position as head hockey coach at the University of Wisconsin, effective at the conclusion of the 2001-02 season.
A national search for Sauers successor will be conducted.
Jeff has had a highly successful coaching career, UW Director of Athletics Pat Richter said. He has few peers in terms of his victory totals and longevity. He means a great deal not only to Wisconsin hockey, but to the game as a whole. He has been a positive influence in the lives of hundreds of student-athletes -- my own son, Barry, included as well as fellow coaches, both on and off the ice. Im very pleased that he will continue with the Department of Athletics on hockey matters and with other responsibilities that will allow us to benefit from his expertise.
Sauer, now in his 31st season as a college hockey coach, spent his first 11 years as head coach at his alma mater, Colorado College. He is in his 20th season as head coach at Wisconsin. Sauer has compiled a 647-523-55 (.551) career record, including a 481-297-44 (.612) with the Badgers and a 166-226-11 (.426) mark at Colorado College.
Only Michigan States Ron Mason (912), Bemidji States Bob Peters (741) and Boston Colleges Len Ceglarski (674) have won more games during their college coaching careers than Sauer. Mason is the only one of that trio that is still coaching.
Sauer has coached the Badgers to NCAA titles in 1983 and 1990. He guided the Badgers to an additional Frozen Four appearance in 1992. Wisconsin has made 12 NCAA Tournament appearances during Sauers tenure. Sauer has guided the UW to WCHA regular-season titles in 1990 and 2000, and to WCHA playoff crowns in 1983, 1988, 1990, 1995 and 1998.
Seventeen Badgers have earned all-America honors while playing for Sauer, including nine first-team selections. Additionally, 13 of Sauers former Badgers have participated in Olympic competition.
Twenty-seven of Sauers players at Wisconsin have gone on to careers in the National Hockey League. Among those still playing in the NHL are standouts like Detroits Chris Chelios, Torontos Curtis Joseph, New York Ranger Mike Richter, Colorados Steve Reinprecht, New Jerseys Brian Rafalski and Atlantas Dany Heatley.
Sauer is an ambassador for the sport of hockey and has been heavily involved in the game both nationally and internationally. He received the JOFA/USA Hockey Distinguished Achievement Award in 2000 (given annually to a U.S. citizen who has made hockey his or her profession and has made outstanding contributions, on or off the ice, to the sport in America). Sauer has coached American teams in numerous international competitions, including a runner-up finish in the 1990 Goodwill Games and an appearance in the medal round at the 1995 World Championships in Sweden.
Sauer is a 1965 graduate of Colorado College. He and his wife, Jamie, are the parents of a son, Chip (a 1999 UW-Madison graduate), and a daughter, Beth (currently a senior at Colorado College). Born on March 10, 1943, in Fort Atkinson, Wis., Sauer was an assistant coach at Colorado College from 1966-68 and an assistant at Wisconsin from 1968-71 before returning to CC as head coach starting in the fall of 1971.