Jeff Sauer, former men’s ice hockey head coach at the University of Wisconsin and 2014 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, is in his fifth season as head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. Last season, Sauer led Team USA to its second-ever undefeated season with a 12-1-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record that culminated in the team's third-ever world championship gold medal.
Since taking the helm in 2011, Sauer has guided Team USA to a 44-4-2-11 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record that includes reaching the championship game of every major international competition and titles in five major international events, including the 2012 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship in Hamar, Norway; the 2012 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Calgary, Alberta; the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia; the 2015 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Leduc, Alberta; the 2015 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship in Buffalo, New York; and the 2016 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.
Sauer and Team USA earned runner-up finishes at the 2011 (Nov.) World Sled Hockey Challenge in Calgary Alberta; 2013 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship in Goyang, South Korea; and the 2013 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Toronto, Canada.
Throughout his career, Sauer has coached a wide array of U.S. teams. 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, Washington. He also led 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 helped select the last six U.S. Deaflympic Ice Hockey Teams while leading the team as head coach in the last four Winter Deaflympics. Most recently, he guided the U.S. Deaflympic squad to a bronze-medal finish at the 2015 Winter Deaflympics in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. He also guided the U.S. Deafympic squad to a gold medal at the 2007 Winter Deaflympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Sauer’s illustrious 31-year NCAA Division I college coaching career featured 655 wins (seventh all-time) and two national championship, 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, five 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 (1971-1982) 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).
A current member of USA Hockey’s International Council and Disabled Hockey Committee, Sauer is president of the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association.
In over 40 years coaching hockey, Sauer has had nothing but success in his varied endeavors. He has been honored with USA Hockey’s Distinguished Achievement Award (2000), the American Hockey Coaches Association’s John “Snooks” Kelly Founders Award (2004) and the NHL’s Lester Patrick Trophy (2011). He has also been inducted into the Wisconsin Hall of Fame, Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame and the Colorado College Athletic Hall of Fame.