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Following a three years junior career from 1970 to 1973, which saw him suit up for the Estevan Bruins, New Westminster Bruins, Bellingham Blazers and Calgary Centennials, Sauter retired from playing to join New Westminster as assistant coach in 1973.
Sauter went on to enjoy a long coaching career. He was given his first chance at becoming a head coach in 1975 when he joined the Butte Copper Kings. After making his class for a season in the Southwest Hockey League with the Copper Kings and another in the British Columbia Junior Hockey League with the Abbotsford Flyers, Sauter joined the Calgary Wranglers of the Western Hockey League. He would spend five seasons as the Wranglers' head coach, finishing with solid records in all of them but the first. His good coaching opened him the doors to professional hockey - he joined the Springfield Indians of the American Hockey League in 1983-84. He brought the team to the playoffs, but was swept in four games in the first round by the Baltimore Skipjacks.
The next season, Sauter was back in the WHL, this time with the Medicine Hat Tigers. He enjoyed two rock solid seasons there, leading his Tigers to back-to-back 50 wins seasons (53 in 1984-85 and 54 in 1985-86). His team lost in the division finals in the 1985 WHL playoffs; the second time, he lost to Kamloops in the WHL Finals. In 1986-87, Sauter joined the Regina Pats. The Pats were a much inferior team than what he had enjoyed in Medicine Hat, and his stats were consequently lower. He did qualify for the playoffs both times, but only to be ousted in the first round each time. Things kept worsening for him in the next two seasons as he joined the Brandon Wheat Kings, en route for two hard playoffs-less seasons.
In 1991-92, Sauter returned to the professional ranks as he joined the Winston-Salem Thunderbirds. There, he could finally enjoy winning seasons again. He lead his team to the ECHL Finals in his second season with the Thunderbirds, losing to the Toledo Storm 4 games to 2.
In 1995-96, Sauter joined the Oklahoma City Blazers of the Central Hockey League. Thus began a 13 years long love story between him and Oklahoma City. He stayed with the Blazers until they folded in 2009, winning two championships.