LISTEN: Wisconsin football will play Notre Dame at Lambeau Field and Soldier Field

CHICAGO — It’s official. The Wisconsin and Notre Dame football teams are set to meet for the first time since 1964. The universities have agreed to a two-year, neutral-site football series beginning in 2020.

The Irish and Badgers will play Oct. 3, 2020, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Sept. 25, 2021, at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez was one of four to make the announcement at a news conference in Chicago Monday morning.

Green Bay Packers President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Murphy was also present at the news conference.

University of Notre Dame Vice President & James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick also said it will be a great event.


The Irish and Badgers have played on 16 previous occasions, with Notre Dame leading the series 8-6-2. Notre Dame earned a 31-7 victory in the most recent meeting between the schools on Sept. 26, 1964, in Madison, Wisconsin, in Ara Parseghian’s debut as head coach for the Irish. The Irish and Badgers met for the first time on the gridiron on Nov. 10, 1900, when Wisconsin shut out Notre Dame, 54-0. The Badgers captured the first three all-time meetings (1900, 1904, 1905) with the Irish.

Neutral site matchups are nothing new to the Notre Dame-Wisconsin series. The 1904 and 1905 games were played in Milwaukee, while legendary Irish head coach Knute Rockne led Notre Dame to a 19-0 victory over the Badgers on Oct. 19, 1929, at Soldier Field.

Notre Dame has played 12 games at Soldier Field, most recently in 2012 when the Irish routed Miami, (Fla.), 41-3, in a Shamrock Series matchup. The Irish own an all-time record of 10-0-2 in the current home of the Chicago Bears.

Wisconsin has played three games at Soldier Field. In addition to the ’29 meeting with the Irish, the Badgers defeated Great Lakes in 1942 and Northern Illinois in 2011.

Interestingly enough, 2020 will mark Notre Dame’s first-ever appearance at legendary Lambeau Field, which is named after Curly Lambeau – former Irish player and eventual founder of the Green Bay Packers. Wisconsin has played just once in the stadium, last year’s 16-14 victory over No. 5 LSU.

The Wisconsin-Notre Dame meeting in 2020 will mark just the second major college football game in the history of Lambeau Field, and the second college game of any kind since NCAA Division III St. Norbert faced Fordham in 1983.

The 2020 and 2021 games against Notre Dame are the only future regular season games for the Badgers currently slated to be played in NFL stadiums.


Ex-Badgers WR Wheelwright signed by Chiefs

KANSAS CITY — Former University of Wisconsin wide receiver Robert Wheelwright has found his new home after signing a one-year contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Wheelwright spent the last thee-plus months as a free agent after being released by the New York Giants in May. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Giants in April after some initial confusion over his “Carolina Panthers” Tweet that same night.

The Columbus, Ohio native joins fellow former Badger quarterback Joel Stave on the Kansas City roster after Stave was added to the Chiefs practice squad last November. Wheelwright finished his senior year with a career-high 448 yards on 34 receptions, though he only had one touchdown.

The scouting report on Wheelwright wasn’t very promising heading into the NFL Draft. He was described as having a habit of making mental errors.

Summary: A bit of an underachiever. Wheelwright has all of the physical tools, but hasn’t quite lived up to his four-star status. Was a dependable receiver for the last two seasons for the Badgers. Doesn’t play as big as his size suggests. Will likely play the X in the NFL, despite playing the Z in Madison. Needs to get stronger, and develop more of a mean streak. Will get a camp invite, and could stick as a practice squad player for a year or two before getting a chance at a main roster.

Walk-ons Henry Houden and Ricky Finco leaving UW football team (AUDIO)

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin tradition of emerging from walk-on status to folk hero has come to an end for in-state wide receivers Henry Houden and Ricky Finco.

UW officials confirmed Sunday morning that Houden and Finco will be leaving the football team, but will remain enrolled at the university. No reason was given for their departures.

Houden, a blooming scout player out of Madison Memorial High School, saw injuries take a toll on his contributions to the team. The news on Finco’s departure comes the day after catching a 70-yard touchdown from Kare Lyles on the first day of fall camp.

Finco was rated as the No. 18 recruit out of Arrowhead High School, per 247 Sports. He won a WIAA Division 1 State Championship in 2013 before going on to play one season at UW Whitewater. He told the Wisconsin Sports Zone Network last spring that being a Badger was a lifelong dream.

Finco played in 12 games for the Badgers last season, returning two punts for 16 total yards.

While no details were given on why exactly Houden and Finco are walking away, the Wisconsin State Journal’s Jason Galloway believes it could have something to do with declining opportunities for the Wisconsin natives.

Marquette lands top 2018 target Joey Hauser over UW, MSU

MILWAUKEE — The rivalry between Wisconsin and Marquette grew stronger over the weekend after one of the nation’s top prospects, Joey Hauser (Stevens Point), announced his commitment to Marquette Sunday night.

Hauser is ranked as the No. 1 power forward in the state of Wisconsin and the No. 35 prospect nationwide, according to 247 Sports. He chooses Marquette over Wisconsin and Michigan State, who considered Hauser their top target. Wisconsin was even reported to be holding off on offering any other scholarships for 2018 until Hauser made his decision.

He also had offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Notre Dame, Purdue and Northwestern.

Hauser has asserted himself on the hardwood, helping the Panthers earn three consecutive Division 1 WIAA championships. He’ll have a family reunion of sorts with the Golden Eagles, teaming up his with brother Sam, a sophomore on Marquette’s roster.

Mallards pound Woodchucks to complete weekend sweep (AUDIO)

MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Mallards (9-6, 28-22) dominated in all phases of a 13-2 win over the Wisconsin Woodchucks (5-11, 20-31) at Warner Park on Sunday afternoon. Every Madison batter reached base and the Mallards pitching staff only allowed four total hits in the team win.

The Mallards fell behind 1-0 after just two batters in the top of the first. However, Mallards starter Tyler Dyson (Florida) would quickly settle in after allowing the initial run. Dyson worked five total innings and only allowed one hit after the first frame. Dyson tallied six strikeouts and didn’t issue a single free pass as he went on to earn his second win of the season.

“Once I got back to attacking guys it went well. I was just trying to make them hit my best stuff. My stuff got better after that first batter. I got behind against the first few batters and I just can’t do that or they’re going to hit it,” Dyson explained. “I just got back to attacking and that’s how I settled in.”

After the first inning Woodchuck run, the Mallards quickly responded. Cole Daily (Notre Dame) drew a leadoff walk and Mallards centerfielder Zac Taylor (Illinois) followed with a two-run shot over the left field fence to put the Mallards in front. Taylor finished the ballgame 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored.

With the game tied at two in the third, the Mallards executed with runners on base again. After three Mallards reached base to start the inning, Jeffery Mitchell Jr. (California) and Thomas Smart (Oakton) used back-to-back sacrifice flies to put the Mallards in front, 4-2. Mitchell Jr. was just beginning his huge ballgame as he ended the day with three runs batted in.

After adding another run in the fourth, the Mallards busted the game open in the bottom of the fifth. Following a Mitchell Jr. RBI single and walk by Smart, Madison first baseman Sam Armstrong (Jacksonville) crushed a three-run dinger into the third level of the Great Dane Duck Blind Suites beyond the right field fence. The bomb gave the Mallards a seven-run lead and the Madison offense would go on to add four more in the inning. After five, the Mallards led 13-2.

In the sixth, the Mallards bullpen picked up right where Dyson left off. Matt McCarty (Louisville), Riley Pawelski (Madison College), and Luke Schilling (Illinois) combined to toss four scoreless innings to seal the 13-2 win. The group only allowed one hit and Pawelski managed to strikeout three Woodchucks. Overall, the Madison pitching staff held the Woodchucks to just two runs on four hits.


New faces, numbers added to Wisconsin’s 2017 roster

MADISON — Wisconsin has released an updated football roster for the 2017 season.

Here are some of the more notables changes:

New numbers

S Patrick Johnson — No. 2 (22)
WR Kendric Pryor — No. 3 (27)
WR A.J. Taylor — No. 4 (84)
S Joe Ferguson — No. 8 (36)
OLB Christian Bell — No. 55 (49)

New freshmen numbers

WR Danny Davis III — No. 6
QB Jack Coan — No. 10
QB Danny Vanden Boom — No. 15
CB Faion Hicks — No. 20
WR Cade Green — No. 22
RB Jonathan Taylor — No. 23
CB Madison Cone — No. 24
S Scott Nelson — No. 25
LB Izayah Green-May — No. 50
LS Adam Bay — No. 51
OL Logan Bruss — No. 60
OL Tyler Beach — No. 65
DE Aaron Vopal — No. 69
OL Alex Fenton — No. 73
OL Kayden Lyles — No. 76
WR Emmet Perry — No. 82
TE Jake Ferguson — No. 84
WR Deron Harrell — No. 89

Bulking up

Wisconsin is all about the big guys and several have added a significant amount of weight from what they were listed at prior to last season.

LT David Edwards — +30 to 315 lbs
RT Patrick Kasl — +34 to 325 lbs
C Tyler Biadasz — +25 to 316 lbs
LT Cole Van Lanen — +20 to 307 lbs
DE Isaiahh Loudermilk — +29 to 306 lbs
DE Billy Hirschfeld — +15 to 305 lbs
ILB Arrington Farrar — +17 to 237 lbs
ILB Griffin Grady — +14 to 225 lbs
RB Bradrick Shaw — +9 to 220 lbs
RB Chris James — +11 to 219 lbs
WR Quintez Cephus — +10 to 205 lbs
WR A.J. Taylor — +8 to 202 lbs
WR George Rushing — +8 to 200 lbs
S Natrell Jamerson — +10 to 198 lbs

No longer around

Offseason attrition is normal in college football, and Wisconsin had its share before and after spring practice.

(* indicates a walk-on)

* TE Mitchell Herl
DE Jake Hescock (transfer)
* LB Max Praschak (transfer to UW-River Falls)
* RB Troy Laufenberg
* S Bret Verstegen
* WR Jack Popp
LB Dallas Jeanty (transfer)
* OL Kelly Thomas
OL Kevin Estes (medical non-counter waiver being pursued)
* Ian Dretzka

Badgers going all-in on 2018 PF Joey Hauser

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin men’s basketball team has just one commitment for the 2018 recruiting class, but doesn’t appear ready to even offer another scholarship until they know what four-star power forward Joey Hauser wants to do.

Wednesday marked the start of the July recruiting assessment period and all three of Hauser’s top suitors (Wisconsin, Marquette, Michigan State) have been in attendance of his AAU team’s games this week in South Carolina. Hauser led his Iowa Barnstormers with 27 points and eight rebounds in Friday’s second contest of the day.

Being that Hauser is from the Stevens Point area and won national championships on the Kohl Center floor, it would appear the recruiting battle would be Wisconsin’s to lose. But given that his older brother Sam chose to attend Marquette, 247 Sports is projecting a 71 percent chance that the younger Hauser spends his college career as a Golden Eagle.

In addition to the three teams mentioned, Hauser has offers from schools like Iowa, Duke, and Notre Dame. The latter could be a surprise contender, according to the following Tweet:

But in a recent article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Hauser has been having an internal struggle deciding which school will be the best fit. Author Jeff Potrykus spoke with Hauser’s high school coach, Scott Anderson, who said Hauser seemed poised to make a decision earlier this month, but a visit with his top three schools gave him second thoughts.

“He came back and it was more muddied, I guess is the best way to put it,” Anderson said in the article. “He felt [conflicted] again.”

The 6-8 power forward remains uncommitted, and with Anderson describing Hauser’s decision-making process as “fluid,” there’s no telling when a verbal commitment could be made. Wisconsin, Marquette, and Michigan State each consider Hauser to be their No. 1 target for the 2018 recruiting class.

Notre Dame men’s hockey joins Big Ten conference

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The University of Notre Dame officially became a sport affiliate member for men’s hockey Saturday. The Fighting Irish join Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin to give the conference seven hockey programs for the 2017-18 season. Notre Dame will make its Big Ten debut Nov. 3-4 with a series at Ohio State.

With the addition of the Fighting Irish, schedules for each of the seven conference programs will move to a 24-game format that concludes with the 2018 Big Ten Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament, to be held the first three weekends of March with all games taking place on the campus of the higher-seeded teams.

The 2017-18 season marks the 58th year of men’s hockey at Notre Dame. Under the guidance of head coach Jeff Jackson, the Fighting Irish have qualified for the NCAA Tournament eight times in 12 seasons, reaching the Frozen Four three times, most recently in 2017.

Notre Dame has previously shared a conference with five of the six Big Ten hockey programs. The Fighting Irish were members of the CCHA (with Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State) from 1992-93 through 2012-13. Prior to that, they were members of the WCHA (with Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota and Wisconsin) from 1971-72 through 1980-81.

Notre Dame hockey becomes the conference’s third sport affiliate member, following the Johns Hopkins men’s and women’s lacrosse teams. The Blue Jays joined the conference in men’s lacrosse in 2015, while the women’s team opened its inaugural Big Ten season in 2017. The Big Ten is committed to broad-based sports opportunities, and the addition of affiliate members helps to support the growth of sports less broadly sponsored by Big Ten institutions.

The seven current Big Ten hockey programs have combined to record 23 national championships, 272 All-Americans and nine Hobey Baker Award winners. Michigan leads the nation with nine national championships, while Wisconsin has won six, Minnesota has claimed five and Michigan State has three.

(Big Ten Conference release)

UW Athletics Hall of Fame to add 10 to 2017 class

MADISON, Wis. — 10 former Badgers will be inducted into the University of Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 29 at Union South. The class includes two gold medalists, a pair of NCAA champions, an NHL all-star, two Rose Bowl-winning quarterbacks and a WNBA player.

Inductees are Sara Bauer, women’s hockey; Darrell Bevell, football; Brooks Bollinger, football; Brian Elliott, men’s hockey; Tamara Moore, women’s basketball; Arlie Schardt, men’s cross country and track and field; Bob Suter, men’s hockey; and Tracy Webster, men’s basketball. Former baseball coach Guy Lowman was selected in the coach/staff category while UW Marching Band Director Mike Leckrone was honored in the special service category.

“This is another tremendous Hall of Fame class,” UW Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez said. “It’s got a little bit of everything from Rose Bowl-winning quarterbacks to NHL all-stars to great basketball players to our first Patty Kazmaier Award winner and more. Most importantly, these are all people who have represented the university in the right way and will be Badgers forever. I am really looking forward to the induction ceremony.”

Bauer was UW’s first Patty Kazmaier Award winner
One of the most honored women’s hockey players in program history, Bauer was the first Badger to win the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as the nation’s top player in 2006. The forward led UW to back-to-back NCAA titles in 2006 and 2007 and was a two-time and WCHA Player of the Year. Bauer wrapped up her career as Wisconsin’s all-time scoring leader and was a two-time UW female athlete of the year.

Bauer also skated with the Canadian National Team from 2004-08. She returned to school to earn her master’s degree in education and opened the Sara Bauer Academy for hockey training and skills.

Bevell became Badgers’ first Rose Bowl winner
Bevell was under center for one of the greatest seasons in Wisconsin football history, leading the Badgers to a 10-1-1 record, the 1993 Big Ten championship and their first trip to the Rose Bowl in 31 years. His memorable, and unlikely, 21-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter helped secure the UW program’s first win in Pasadena. That performance capped a season in which he was named first-team All-Big Ten, set the single-season school record for passing yards (2,390) and matched the UW mark for touchdown passes (19).

A four-year starter, Bevell finished his career as the Badgers’ career leader in passing yards (7,686), completions (646), attempts (1,052), completion percentage (61.4%) and touchdown passes (59).
Bevell has worked as an NFL assistant coach since 2000, serving on the staffs of the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings before becoming offensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks in 2011 and winning Super Bowl XLVIII two seasons later.

Bollinger a winner from the start
Bollinger led the Badgers to the 1999 Big Ten championship and 2000 Rose Bowl title. A four-year starter at quarterback he compiled a 30-12 record, including a 3-0 mark in bowl games, from 1999 to 2002. Bollinger was named the 1999 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and finished his career ranked second in school history in passing yards, attempts, completions and touchdowns.

He was selected in the 2003 NFL Draft and played seven seasons with New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys. Bollinger also played two years in the United Football League, earning MVP honors in 2009 before retiring from football in 2011. He currently serves as head football coach at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Elliott a goaltending great
Elliott was the starting goalkeeper for the Badgers’ 2006 NCAA championship team, earning first-team All-America honors. A top-three finalist for the 2006 Hobey Baker Memorial Award, Elliott was also a three-time Academic All-Big Ten pick and the 2005-06 UW Athletic Board Scholar. He set school records for career goals-against average (1.78) and save percentage (.931).

Elliott was drafted in 2003 and has played for 10 seasons in the NHL with Ottawa, Colorado, St. Louis and Calgary. He is also a two-time NHL all-star.

Moore made her mark as point guard
Moore was a two-time honorable mention All-American and two-time All-Big Ten pick. She was named a finalist for the 2002 Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year award and the 2002 Senior CLASS award. Moore led the Badgers to the 1999 WNIT championship, earning most valuable player honors. The 2001 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Moore ranks first on the UW career record lists in assists and steals.

A finalist for the U.S. team for the 2001 World University Games, Moore was selected 15th overall by the Miami Sol in the 2002 WNBA Draft. She played in the WNBA for six seasons.

Schardt was Badgers’ first Olympic gold medalist
Schardt was selected as the Heritage member of the 2017 Hall of Fame class. A track and cross country standout from 1914-17, he served as team captain of the 1915 cross country team that won the Big Ten and National Intercollegiate championships. Schardt, from Milwaukee was also a member of two Big Ten championship track teams. The middle distance runner won the 1917 Big Ten indoor mile title before graduating that spring.

Schardt entered the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant and immediately went into combat in World War I. He was severely injured after a battle in the Argonne Forest and was left for dead for two-and-a-half days. After recovering, Schardt continued to compete following the war and placed second in the mile at the 1919 American Expeditionary Forces Championships. He became the first Badger to claim a gold medal, winning the 3000-meter team race as part of the U.S. squad at the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium.

Suter made Madison youth hockey his ambition
A Madison legend, Suter was a member of UW’s 1977 NCAA championship team. The defenseman earned second-team All-WCHA honors in 1979 while being named the inaugural winner of the Fenton Kelsey Jr. Most Competitive Player Award on the UW team.

Suter was a member of the “Miracle on Ice” U.S. team that won gold in hockey at the 1980 Olympics and also skated for Team USA at the 1981 World Championships. Suter was drafted in 1977 by the Los Angeles Kings but never played a game in the NHL. The Madison East High School graduate returned to Madison, where he opened a sporting goods store called Gold Medal Sports. Suter also coached youth hockey in Madison and became part owner and director of Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton. The arena was named in his honor following his death in 2014.

Webster led resurgence of men’s basketball
Webster was a key member of the Wisconsin teams in the early 1990s. He helped guide UW to the 1994 NCAA Tournament, the Badgers’ first appearance in the Big Dance in more than 40 years. A second-team All-Big Ten pick, Webster scored more than 1,264 career points. He still holds the UW career record for assists (501) and ranks second all-time in steals (183). A three-time team captain, Webster was named the Badgers’ most valuable player in 1992.

Webster has spent more than 15 years coaching Division I college basketball, serving as an assistant coach at Kentucky, Illinois, Purdue, Ball State, DePaul, Nebraska, Tennessee and California.

Lowman a legend on the diamond
Lowman coached three sports at Wisconsin but is known primarily as the Badgers’ baseball coach. In 1918, he coached the baseball team. The following season, he coached the football team before opening a two-year run as basketball coach. Lowman led the hoopsters to the 1917-18 Big Ten title with a 9-3 conference record.

He returned to coach the baseball team from 1921-32, finishing with a 140-105 record and claiming the 1930 Big Ten championship. The Badgers’ home field was named after Lowman in 1952.

Leckrone a fixture of Fifth Quarter
Since 1969, Leckrone has served as director of the UW Marching Band. He has established numerous traditions, including the Fifth Quarter, the Bud Song and the band’s high-stepping marching style. Leckrone was recognized as an Outstanding Educator of America by the Outstanding Americans Foundation in 1970 and received the Outstanding Bandmaster Award from the Wisconsin Chapter of Phi Beta in 1973.

Leckrone has also been recognized by several UW booster clubs, receiving the Pat O’Dea Award, the Blue Line Club Distinguished Service Award, the Badger Basketball Boosters Distinguished Service Award, the UW Alumni Club Distinguished Faculty Award, and the Wisconsin Newspaper Writers Special Edition Award. He has also been inducted into the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame and the Wisconsin Football Hall of Fame.


Mallards fall to Woodchucks in pitching battle

WAUSAU, Wis. — The Madison Mallards (14-13) fell 1-0 to the Wisconsin Woodchucks (10-17) in a pitchers’ duel at Athletic Park on a sunny but chilly Monday night.

The Mallards could not continue their four-game winning streak, as it was the Madison bats that fell short. Tonight was the third time the Mallards have been shutout this season. Madison outhit Wisconsin 6-5, but could not come through with any clutch at-bats. Doran Turchin (Illinois) and Jeffrey Mitchell Jr. (California) both managed multi-hit games, but every time the Woodchucks sensed danger on the base-paths, the Wisconsin pitching staff slammed the door on the Mallards hitters. Madison left runners on second and third base in both the first and second innings. They stranded ten total tonight.

Simon Rosenblum-Larson (Harvard) was handed the loss, despite throwing five innings and only allowing one run on three hits. The only run of the game came in the third inning after the Ivy Leaguer plunked Woodchuck Jackson Owens, who then scored from third two batters later off a Trey Dawson single to center field. Jason Ruffcorn (Texas A&M) and Andrew Buckley (California) finished off the last three innings for Madison out of the bullpen. The Mallards played well in the field again tonight, but solid defense could not save them in a night where runs came at a premium.

Tonight’s loss is a tough one to swallow for the Mallards, who are racing for second place in the Northwoods League South Division. Despite the loss, the appearance of some fresh faces brings life to the Madison roster. Freshman right-hander Jason Ruffcorn made is Mallards debut on the mound tonight, showing off a heavy fastball and the ability to work of a jam with runners in scoring position. Another freshman, Jake Snider (Louisville), exploded onto the Northwoods scene with a double down the left field line in his first at-bat with Madison. The Mallards await more help in the bullpen over the next couple weeks in the form of more pitchers from Texas A&M and Florida.

The Mallards will be in action back at Warner Park Tuesday night for a two-game series against the Kalamazoo Growlers (8-19) at home. Gates open at 5:30 for the Schwinn Family of Bikes giveaway. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05. Listen live on 106.7 FM and 1670 AM The ZONE. Before the game, be sure to stop by Warner Park for the Schwinn Bike Safety course that will be held from 10 AM – Noon. This free course will feature bike inspections and safety lessons from the Madison Police department. The first 50 kids in attendance will receive a free bike helmet and all kids will receive a free voucher to a future Mallards game.