Feb. 15, 2013
MADISON, Wis. -- USA Hockey announced on Thursday that Jeff Sauer, former University of Wisconsin men's hockey coach, has been chosen to coach the United States Paralympic Sled Hockey Team for the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games, March 7-16, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.
The U.S. will be defending its gold medal from the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Games, and seeking its fourth consecutive Paralympic Games medal (2002-gold; 2006-bronze).
Currently in his second season as head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team, Sauer led Team USA to the gold medal last April at the International Paralympic Committee World Championship in Hamar, Norway, becoming the first sled team to win back-to-back world titles.
"It's a great situation for me," Sauer said in a national teleconference. "I'm very honored to be involved and look forward to having a lot of success on the international scene."
Including Team USA winning its last three international competitions, Sauer has guided the U.S. to a number of titles over his career. As head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team, Sauer led Team USA to titles at the 1995 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship and 1990 Goodwill Games. He also helped the U.S. Men's Select Team at the 1989 Pravda Cup and 1997 Tampere Cup.
Sauer has also been involved with the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association since its establishment in the 1970s.
He will be the head coach of Team USA at the 2013 World Deaf Hockey Championship in Vantaa, Finland this April. Additionally, he has been the head coach of the last three Deaflympic Ice Hockey Teams, leading the U.S. to a gold-medal finish at the 2007 Winter Deaflympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Sauer also is currently a member of USA Hockey's International Council and Disabled Hockey Committee, and is president of the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association.
"This has been very, very rewarding," Sauer said. "I can't say enough about how it's rejuvenated me from a coaching standpoint. I have coached (NHL players) Chris Chelios, Danny Heatley, Bruce Driver and Pat Flatley, etc. and these guys are no different. The just have a handicap they have to deal with."
In 2011, Sauer was among four recipients of the NHL's 2011 Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.
One of the winningest coaches in men's college hockey history, ranking eighth all-time, Sauer recorded 655 collegiate coaching wins over his 31-year coaching career. Beginning his collegiate coaching career more than 40 years ago as an assistant under the legendary "Badger" Bob Johnson at Colorado College, Sauer took over and became head coach at his alma mater for 11 years before becoming head coach at Wisconsin for 20 seasons. Sauer compiled a 481-297-44 (.612) record with the Badgers and a 166-226-11 (.426) tally at Colorado College.
Sauer coached Wisconsin from 1982-2002 and led the Badgers to NCAA titles in 1983 and 1990. Seventeen Badgers earned All-America honors while playing for Sauer, while 27 went on to have careers in the NHL. The Fort Atkinson, Wis., native was inducted into the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004.