RIP Jeff Sauer

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Jeff Sauer was a man whose passion for hockey shone through in everything he did.

To a lot of people in the USA, he was the head coach for the Wisconsin Badgers, leading them to two NCAA championships. But to the sledge hockey world, he was best known as the head coach for the USA National Sled Hockey Team. In addition, he was President of the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association, helping to bring hockey to deaf and hearing-impaired people across the country.

In the six seasons he held the position of US National Team Head Coach, he touched the hearts and lives of so many sledge hockey players around the world.

USA Hockey was one of the first to tweet about it publicly on Thursday 2 February.

โ€œWhen you talk about positive people that genuinely care, Jeff Sauer is at the top of the list,โ€ said Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey. โ€œHeโ€™s a giant in our sport overall, but particularly from the USA Hockey perspective, he really made a difference on the advancement and visibility of disabled hockey.” [source: USA Hockey]

They were quickly followed by a huge number of past and present players who wanted to show their respect on Twitter.

But it wasn’t just USA players who showed their respect. Teams and players from Canada, who have played against USA and Coach Sauer many times, also tweeted their condolences.

Other people have been leaving their memories of him on the USA Hockey website.

From a personal point of view, I have been involved in sledge hockey for a few years now, and I have a list of people involved with the sport who I would love to meet. Jeff Sauer was at the very top of that list for a long time, and I’m saddened that I will never get that opportunity. However, I know that his influence and his passion for the sport shine through in every person he ever coached, and that keeps him with us all for a little while longer.

Rest in Peace, Coach Sauer. You were truly one of the good ones.

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