The beginning of each season brings with it the hope and promise that the late Jeff Sauer gave to all. Each day carries the love of hockey that shone through with his ever-present smile. At season’s end, a championship – the ultimate symbol of teamwork and unity that Coach Sauer exemplified.

Our league is truly honored to award the Jeff Sauer WCHA Championship Trophy, Presented by Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup, to our annual WCHA Postseason Tournament champion as a tangible reminder of the man who meant so much to our league and to the sport of hockey.

A Lifelong Association

Sauer’s time with the WCHA spanned six decades, beginning with his playing career at Colorado College in the 1960s, continuing through 31 years as head coach of the Tigers and Wisconsin, and for 14 seasons in various consulting capacities to the WCHA Commissioner and Conference Office. The only WCHA head coach with 30 years behind the bench, he is the league’s all-time winningest coach with 665 victories – the 10th most in NCAA men’s hockey history. A two-time WCHA Coach of the Year, Sauer guided his CC and UW teams to a pair of league regular season titles and six WCHA playoff championships – the league pinnacle for which teams will now raise a trophy in his honor.

Said the Sauer family: “Through his lifelong relationship with the league, first as a player, then a coach, and finally an administrator, Jeff valued the league’s heritage of success and the active role that the WCHA took in the growth of college hockey for both men and women. We are honored that the WCHA has chosen to name the Championship trophy in Jeff’s name, ensuring that his spirit will carry forward as a reminder of both the league’s distinguished history and as a guide for the future.”

A Great Coach… An Even Better Man

Jeff Sauer was a legendary coach, a tremendous ambassador for the game of hockey and, above all, a wonderful person who brought great joy to all. From the WCHA to his extensive involvement with the U.S. National Sled Team and the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association, Jeff embodied the kindness, generosity and heart that makes our sport truly special.

All who knew Coach Sauer, on and off the ice, are better for the experience. We are blessed that he was – and always will be – part of the WCHA family.


About the Jeff Sauer WCHA Championship Trophy

The custom-designed, perpetual Jeff Sauer WCHA Championship Trophy, Presented by Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup, debuted in 2018. Designed by renowned manufacturer Jostens, the trophy stands more than two feet high on its own (and more than three-feet high upon its perpetual base) and weighs approximately 46 pounds altogether (about 30 without the base). The hockey stick uprights are solid, brass-plated in 24-karat gold, while the rest of the trophy is produced with a mix of metals and aluminum accents, around a polished steel bowl. In the center is a bronze-cast medallion plated in gold with the name “Jeff Sauer” to symbolize the trophy’s namesake. The octagon-shaped base is made of the same materials and features nickel silver plates for etching the history of past winning teams.

About Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup

In 1928, Paul Anderson first shared the distinct taste of Wisconsin’s Northwoods by producing sweet pure maple syrup that started our 90-year tradition. Three generations later his grandson, Steve, still carries on the sugar making heritage by bottling maple syrup from the same sugar bush his grandfather tapped for many years. Anderson’s Maple Syrup is pure, all natural and a healthy alternative for families. From its humble roots in Cumberland, WI: Anderson’s Maple Syrup is still made with the love your family would expect. Try Anderson’s Maple Syrup in coffee or tea as a sweetener, and on ice cream as a topping. Some of the top BBQ grillers in the country eye Anderson’s as one of the best glazes for meats, fruits & veggies. From our farm to your kitchen, Anderson’s can be found in Grocery & Specialty Stores across the country. For more information, visit

“For 90 years, Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup has been all about Family, Tradition and Quality,” said Steve Anderson, the company’s third-generation owner. “With that in mind, we are excited for our partnership with the WCHA family as the Presenting Sponsor of the Jeff Sauer WCHA Championship Trophy, and continuing support of the tradition of excellence in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association!”