Sauer – the sixth-winningest coach in college history
– writes a bi-weekly column for Inside College Hockey.com.
"The Dean" was the head coach for 31 years at Colorado
College and Wisconsin, where he won two national titles. Sauer
retired at the end of the 2001-02 season. He was the 2003
Snooks Kelley Award winner for contributions to U.S. hockey
and ranked 16th on INCH's list of the all-time greatest
college hockey coaches.
listening pleasure, find The
Bud Song on Wisconsin's official site.
of the fun in doing this column is the opportunity to interact
with you, the hockey fan. Please send your questions or comments
The Dean's List by Jeff Sauer
Now that the
World Series is over and the election has been decided, the idle
sports fan may notice that there is no National Hockey League.
While the lockout
of NHL is potentially very bad for pro hockey, it serves as a great
opportunity to spotlight the game of college hockey.
It gives fans
who have never given the college game a chance to find out what
the rest of us have discovered, that the college games' enthusiasm,
spirit and level of play gives it a quality that the pros can't
will give the college game a peek. Thanks to the CSTV Game of the
Week, fans get their hockey fix in rinks like Ralph Englestad Arena
and Yost Arena, instead of the United Center or Madison Square Garden.
Regional cable television like Fox and NESN are starting to televise
more games and national coverage of the college game is increasing.
is starting to show more highlights – especially
in its' "Play of the Day" features. I think more people
are finding out how entertaining the college game can be.
I would encourage
hockey fans to give the women's college game a look as well. They
will find a style of play that is different from the men's game,
and they will be surprised at the work ethic of all teams and the
skill level of some teams like Minnesota, Minnesota-Duluth, Harvard
the increased exposure continues, it will help both the men's and
women's games grow. Currently there are over 200 non-varsity programs
playing hockey right now. Some of them draw big crowds to their
It would be
great if some of these programs considered going Division I. Places
like Navy, Penn State, Iowa State and some West Coast schools would
be great additions to our game, which this year added Robert Morris
from Pittsburgh to Division I competition.
In this era
of Title IX and cost reductions, there needs to be a movement to
promote and encourage expansion in our game to keep it strong. We
have made advancements with the 16 team men's tournament, but college
hockey can't sit back. The game still loses schools, like Findlay
last year when the Ohio institution dropped the sport.
more eyes will discover the sport of college hockey, thanks to the
void left by the NHL. And hopefully that exposure will lead to more
schools wanting to give the college game a chance to grow.