MADISON – Zoe Uihlein, a senior from University School of Milwaukee, has been
named the recipient of the 2021 Jeff Sauer Humanitarian Award, the Coach Sauer
The Jeff Sauer Award was presented Friday at the Wisconsin High School Coaches
Association virtual banquet. The annual award hopes to encourage community
service among girls and boys high school hockey players in the state of
Wisconsin. It is named after the legendary former University of Wisconsin coach
and hockey ambassador Jeff Sauer, who passed away in February, 2017.
The Jeff Sauer Award’s goal is to recognize good high school hockey players
being great people.
Zoe is a volunteer with the Wisconsin Adaptive Sports Association, a nonprofit
that promotes community collaboration on sports and recreational opportunities
for individuals with mobility and visual impairments in wheelchair basketball,
lacrosse, softball, tennis and bowling, and the WASA Admirals Sled Hockey
Programs in Milwaukee. “She brings energy to all her volunteer work” was a
constant refrain about Zoe who also plays lacrosse as USM. An honor student,
Zoe’s college plans are still up in the air.
Uihlien will play in the WIAA girls state championship game Saturday against
Chippewa Falls/Menomonie in Wisconsin Rapids. A defender, she has one goal and
eight points this season and has 4 goals, 14 assists and 18 points in her prep
career. Her coach is Dan Carey.
Uihlein was one of four finalists for the award. The others are Braden Kloida,
a senior defenseman from the Brookfield Stars and Brookfield East High School;
Alyssa Knauf, a senior forward from the Rock County Fury and Albany High School,
and Luke Hessenauer, a senior defenseman from Milton High School.
The Jeff Sauer Award is modeled after the Hockey Humanitarian Award, which is
presented annually to college hockey’s finest citizen and seeks to recognize
players, male or female, who contribute to local communities in a true
After retiring as one of the top ten winningest coaches in college hockey, Jeff
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. Additionally, Sauer was president of the American Hearing
Impaired Hockey Association.
The Coach Sauer Foundation was very impressed with all the candidates and their
stories of student athletes who deserve notice for their work in the community
and for reasons that ultimately are more important than mere personal statistics.
Madison Ice Arena displays a replica of the Jeff Sauer Award in its lobby to
honor Uihlein and the three past winners – Shane Ryan of Madison Edgewood, Parker
Esswein of Wauwatosa East and the Brookfield Stars and Ava Jambor of the
Middleton Lynx. University School will also receive a plaque to display to
commemorate Uihlien’s achievements.