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One month after guiding the Oklahoma City Blazers to their first Central Hockey League championship since 1967, Doug Sauter was selected by peers and commissioner Monte Miron on Monday as Coach of the Year.
In his first season with Oklahoma City, Sauter fused several veterans and rookies into a powerhouse that broke 26 CHL records and compiled a phenomenal 47-13-4 record en route to winning both the regular- and post-season championships.
"When we met with Doug Sauter (last) summer, you could tell he had a winning attitude," veteran Blazers forward Steve Simoni said in a statement. "He has had a lot of success in the past, and we knew if he could get the right players here, he could lead us to the championship. The award is well deserved."
Sauter, a Fairlight, Saskatchewan, native, replaced Mike McEwen last July after spending three successful seasons with the Wheeling Thunderbirds of the East Coast Hockey League. He was also Coach of the Year in 1991-92, then as mentor at Winston-Salem of the ECHL.
Including this past season, Sauter's career record in the pro ranks stands at 246-108-34.
"Doug did a great job this year. It is a tribute to the league to have a coach of his caliber," said Tulsa Oilers coach Garry Unger, whose club lost a first-round playoff series to the Blazers.
Memphis coach Herb Boxer finished second in balloting. The RiverKings had a 19-point improvement over the previous season and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 1991-92.Archive ID: 647661