From Walk-on to Running the Show Wood County

Wood County - Mark Tauscher

Photo courtesy of David Stluka/UW Athletics

Mark Tauscher ’99, MS’03 was decidedly unheralded when he arrived at UW–Madison in 1995. After being noticed when his high school basketball team (yes, basketball) played in the state tournament in Madison, he was invited to walk on as an offensive lineman for the Wisconsin Badgers football team. Tauscher knew he would need perseverance.

UW Connections in Wood County

Data Source: University of Wisconsin Service Center

“In the beginning, I was completely intimidated,” he says. “You’re going against very good defensive linemen on a daily basis, and you’re trying not to get your butt whipped.”

After a year as a redshirt, and three more as a reserve who played sporadically, he considered transferring to another school. But the drive inside convinced him to stick it out: he returned for a fifth year.

Finally a starter, Tauscher helped to lead the Badgers to a second consecutive Rose Bowl victory.

“I think everybody has different motivations,” Tauscher says. “And for me, I think it’s always you’re trying to prove you belong — you always try to prove you can do it.”

“For me, it always just comes down to: believe in what you’re doing, and try to get an understanding of how can you take steps to get where you want to go.”

He did it all right. Tauscher, who grew up on a farm in the central Wisconsin’s Wood County, earned his bachelor’s degree in history in 1999 and his master’s degree in educational administration in 2003 from UW–Madison. In 2000, he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers and started as the right tackle his rookie year. He completed 11 seasons and 132 starts with the Packers and ended his career as a Super Bowl XLV Champion.

In 2005, Tauscher established the TRIFECTA Foundation (Tauscher’s Reading Initiative For Every Child To Achieve). Its mission is to promote and support literacy and education throughout the state of Wisconsin. He also enjoys giving time to many local charities and activities, including the American Family Children’s Hospital, UW Carbone Cancer Center, the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and multiple Wisconsin literacy programs.

Currently, Tauscher is the co-owner of a Madison-based business that runs the Red Card Meal Plan and Isthmus Publishing. He’s also been lending his voice to broadcasting for ESPN Wisconsin’s Wilde and Tausch Radio Show and is on the broadcast teams for Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers football games.

“For me, it always just comes down to: believe in what you’re doing, and try to get an understanding of how can you take steps to get where you want to go. It doesn’t have to be in one bound,” says Tauscher.

Thank you, Wood County, for Mark Tauscher, who continues to show that with passion and perseverance, great success is possible — on and off the field.