The Jeff Sauer Award has been established to recognize good high school hockey players being great people.
The newly-formed Coach Sauer Foundation has announced plans for the annual award 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 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 humanitarian spirit. In its’ 22-year history, two Wisconsin natives – J.P. McKersie of Madison and Erik Raygor of Superior – received the Hockey Humanitarian Award for their community service work at Boston University and Wisconsin, respectively.
The Coach Sauer Foundation plans to present the first Jeff Sauer Award at the awards dinner on the eve of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association state tournament in March. Jeff was a big proponent of Wisconsin high school hockey. In recent years he organized a youth clinic on the morning of the WIAA state tournament games and, since retiring from the UW, he was part of the television teams that brought the games over the air on Fox Sports Wisconsin and Quincy Broadcasting Network.
After retiring from 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. was active. Additionally, Sauer was president of the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association.
The Coach Sauer Foundation would like to encourage community service among high school players and has asked coaches to nominate players who have stood out at their school and community for doing good things.
The Coach Sauer Foundation will review the achievements of this group of nominees and announce a list of finalists for the Coach Sauer Award in early February. It would love to hear from a wide range of candidates, including team captains, role players and campus leaders of any age and hope to reward stories of volunteer efforts that help children, the handicapped, the homeless and the disadvantaged. These are stories of student athletes who deserve notice for reasons that ultimately are more important than mere personal statistics.
Madison Ice Arena has agreed to display a replica of the Jeff Sauer Award in its lobby to honor this year’s winner and all future winners.