Sled hockey coach Jeff Sauer to be inducted into U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

Aug. 06, 2014, 8:30 a.m. (ET)
Jeff Sauer
Jeff Sauer, seen coaching at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, will be inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame this year.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. ― Jeff Sauer (St. Paul, Minn.), head coach for the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team, will be inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame as the Class of 2014, it was announced today by USA Hockey. He will be joined by Karyn Bye Dietz (River Falls, Wis.), Brian Rafalski (Dearborn, Mich.) and Lou Vairo (Brooklyn, N.Y.).

“The class of 2014 is an extraordinary collection of individuals that have had an immensely positive impact on hockey in our country,” said Ron DeGregorio, president of USA Hockey. “Cumulatively, they have been involved at every level of hockey and this group is a big reason why our sport has advanced to the point it has in the United States."

Jeff Sauer, who grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and now calls Middleton, Wisconsin, home, has spent more than 40 years coaching hockey, and has had nothing but success in his varied endeavors. He is currently at the helm of the U.S. sled hockey program, which claimed a second consecutive Paralympic gold medal at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

Sauer’s 31-year NCAA Division I men’s college coaching career featured 655 wins (seventh all-time) and two national championships, both of which came at 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 (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). Throughout his college career, he served as head coach for multiple U.S. squads, including the 1995 U.S. Men’s National Team and U.S. teams that participated in the 1990 Goodwill Games, 1989 Pravada Cup and 1997 Tampere Cup.

The 2014-15 season is Sauer’s fourth campaign as head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. He led the U.S. to the gold medal at the 2012 International Paralympic Committee Ice Sledge Hockey World Championship. Two years later, he was at the helm of the gold-medal winning 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team in Sochi, Russia.

Additionally, Sauer is president of the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association. He helped select the last five U.S. Deaflympic Ice Hockey Teams, while leading the team as head coach in the last three Winter Deaflympics, including a gold medal at the 2007 Deaflympics in Salt Lake City.

Sauer 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 Hockey Hall of Fame, Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame and the Colorado College Athletic Hall of Fame.

The Class of 2014 will be formally enshrined on Dec. 4 in Minneapolis/St. Paul. More details on the induction celebration will be released over the next several weeks at

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductees are chosen on the basis of extraordinary contribution to the sport of hockey in the United States.