COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Jeff Sauer (Madison, Wis.) has been named head coach of the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team it was announced today by USA Hockey. Sauer is currently in his second season serving as head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team.
In April 2012, Sauer guided Team USA to the gold medal at the International Paralympic Committee World Championship in Hamar, Norway. The U.S. will defend its world title this April in Goyang City, Korea, at the 2013 IPC World Championship.
"Jeff has been a terrific leader for our U.S. National Sled Hockey Team and he was the unquestionable choice for this position," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. "He has a wealth of coaching experience at so many levels and has translated that knowledge to the game of sled hockey."
"I'm excited and honored to be chosen for this position," said Sauer. "I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to be the head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team these last two seasons and I look forward to seeing this talented group of players through to next year's Paralympic Games in Sochi."
The U.S. Paralympic Hockey Team will compete in 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).
Sauer has coached a wide array of U.S. teams throughout his career. He was the head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team at the 1995 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship in Stockholm, Sweden, and at the 1990 Goodwill Games in Seattle, Wash., along with serving as head coach for the U.S. Men's Select Team at the 1989 Pravda Cup in Leningrad, Soviet Union, and at the 1997 Tampere Cup in Tampere, Finland.
In addition, Sauer has been deeply involved with the U.S. Deaf Ice Hockey Teams. 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.
Sauer's illustrious 31-year NCAA Division I college coaching career featured 655 wins (seventh all-time) and two national championships, both of which came during his tenure with the University of Wisconsin (1983, 1990).
Sauer led Wisconsin to three NCAA Men's Frozen Four appearances, 12 NCAA tournament berths, six Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoff titles and two WCHA regular-season crowns in 20 seasons as head coach (1982-2002). He also spent 11 years (1971-82) as head coach of the men's ice hockey team at his alma mater, Colorado College, where he was twice named WCHA Coach of the Year (1972, 1975).
In 2011, Sauer was honored with the National Hockey League's Lester Patrick Trophy for his outstanding service to hockey in the United States. In 2000, he was recognized with USA Hockey's Distinguished Achievement Award. He was also named to the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004 and received the John 'Snooks' Kelly Founders Award from the American Hockey Coaches Association for his contributions to the overall growth and development of the sport of ice hockey in the U.S.
NOTES:Team USA has won the last three major international events, including the 2009 IPC World Sledge Hockey Championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic; the 2010 Paralympic Games in Vancouver, B.C.; and the 2012 IPC World Sledge Hockey Championship in Hamar, Norway ... During the 2012-13 season, the U.S. has won a pair of international tournaments; Team USA defeated Canada on Dec. 8 in the championship game of the 2012 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Calgary, Alberta, and it topped Korea on Jan. 26 in the title game of the 2013 USA Hockey Sled Cup in Indian Trail, N.C. ... Currently, Sauer and the U.S. National Team are in suburban Ottawa, Ont., to play a three-game series vs. Canada Feb. 14-16 ... The appointment of Sauer is pending approval from the U.S. Olympic Committee ... The management of the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team is under the direction of USA Hockey's International Council, chaired by Tony Rossi. Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of USA Hockey, oversees all hockey operations for the organization and Dan Brennan is the general manager of the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team.