The Wisconsin Department of Athletics is saddened to learn that Jeff Sauer, UW's men's hockey coach from 1982 to 2002, has passed away at the age of 73.
Sauer led the Badgers to 489 victories, the most victories for a UW coach in any sport. He guided Wisconsin to the 1983 and 1990 NCAA titles. In addition, the Badgers won WCHA regular-season titles in 1990 and 2000 and WCHA playoff crowns in 1983, 1988, 1990, 1995 and 1998.
Sauer was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 16, 2016.
"Our entire athletic department family is saddened to hear of the passing of Coach Sauer," Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez said. "Jeff was a hockey man through and through. He had a passion for the sport and for coaching, and his imprint on the game will be felt forever through the lives he touched. Our hockey programs at Wisconsin benefitted greatly from Jeff's influence. I want to extend the condolences of Wisconsin Athletics to Jeff's family, friends, colleagues and former players."
"Coach Sauer's record speaks for itself, but he's just done so much besides coaching hockey," UW men's hockey coach Tony Granato said. "That is the part I will miss most about him. He was about caring for people and sharing. I watched him volunteer endlessly for both the U.S. Sled Hockey and Hearing Impaired teams and watched him do anything that was asked of him for any special situation that was needed.
"He was just a great person and anyone that has had the pleasure of knowing him, playing for him or that was touched by what he gave us was just so lucky to have him as a coach and friend.""It's a tough day, certainly for the people that were close to Jeff and knew him," UW women's hockey coach Mark Johnson said. "He was a great man and a tremendous ambassador for the game of hockey. "I've known him since I was seven or eight and he has had an impact on my career, whether as a young player, a college player or coach. He was the one in 1980 that convinced my dad, after their Friday night game between Wisconsin and Colorado College, that my dad should fly out to Lake Placid that Saturday to watch our gold medal game. Obviously Jeff and my dad were extremely close, my dad coached him when he was at Colorado College and he was an assistant coach for my dad. They both loved baseball and both got involved in hockey and had a passion for the game."He's going to be missed for a lot of reasons. He was great for the sport, he ran a great program at Colorado College for 11 years and he took over for my dad here in the early 1980s and did an outstanding job for 20 years, winning a couple of national championships. I coached with him here for six years and I played under him with different national teams. "Jeff was also instrumental in the foundation of our women's hockey program as he was a great friend to the program, especially in the early years. He has impacted my life in a lot of different ways and I want make sure people are praying and their thoughts are with Jamie and the rest of his family. I'm sure they are stunned by his passing and it is a sad day for the hockey community, especially for the people that were close to him."
Photo: Wisconsin Badgers
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