Jeff Sauer cover photo

Jeff Sauer compiled a 489-306-46 record after taking over the UW men's hockey program in the 1982-83 season. His team won the national title that season and again in 1989-90.


The Jeff Sauer Award has been established to recognize good high school hockey players being great people.

The newly-formed Coach Sauer Foundation has announced plans for the annual award to encourage community service among Wisconsin girls and boys high school hockey players, according to a release. 

It was named after the former University of Wisconsin men's hockey coach and hockey ambassador Jeff Sauer, who died Feb. 2, 2017, at age 73.

The Jeff Sauer Award is modeled after the Hockey Humanitarian Award, which is presented each year to college hockey’s finest citizen and seeks to recognize players, male or female, who contribute to local communities in a humanitarian spirit.

In its 22-year history, two Wisconsin natives – J.P. McKersie of Madison and Erik Raygor of Superior – received the Hockey Humanitarian Award for their community service work at Boston University and Wisconsin, respectively.

The Coach Sauer Foundation plans to present the first Jeff Sauer Award at the awards dinner on the eve of the WIAA state hockey tournament in March.

Sauer was a big proponent of Wisconsin high school hockey.

In recent years he organized a youth clinic on the morning of the WIAA state tournament games. After retiring at UW, he was part of the television teams that brought the games over the air on Fox Sports Wisconsin and Quincy Broadcasting Network.

After retiring from college hockey, Sauer worked extensively with disabled hockey players, He coached the U.S. sled hockey team to a gold medal at the Winter Paralympics in 2014 and in his seven years as coach Team USA won two gold medals at the Sledge Hockey World Championships. Sauer also was president of the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association.

The Coach Sauer Foundation would like to encourage community service among high school players and has asked coaches to nominate players who have stood out at their school and community for doing good things.

Coaches should be advised that the foundation website is

The Coach Sauer Foundation will review the achievements of this group of nominees and announce a list of finalists for the Coach Sauer Award in early February.

It seeks a wide range of candidates, including team captains, role players and campus leaders of any age and hopes to reward stories of volunteer efforts that help children, the handicapped, the homeless and the disadvantaged. These are stories of student-athletes who deserve notice for reasons that ultimately are more important than mere personal statistics.

Madison Ice Arena has agreed to display a replica of the Jeff Sauer Award in its lobby to honor this year’s winner and all future winners.