The Man Behind The Mic



“Breviiiiiiin Pritzllllll for threeee”, chanted University of Wisconsin’s Public address announcer at the Kohl Center as Pritzl hit a three pointer to take the lead with under a minute to go against Minnesota on March 1st at the Kohl Center. The PA announcer with such an enlightening tone is Mike Mahnke. Being a huge Badgers fan myself, Mahnke has enhanced the game in so many ways especially in the game’s biggest moments. 


The veteran PA guy got his feet wet in announcing while filling in for a friend one night in February of 1992 calling UW Women’s basketball game. Mahnke finished the season and was asked back for Women’s Volleyball in the fall. He called two UW men’s basketball games in 1993 and then took over permanently when longtime PA announcer Jack Rane passed away. By that time Mike had Men’s basketball, Women’s basketball, Men’s hockey and Women’s volleyball. He finally debuted in the booth at Camp Randall Stadium in a nationally televised blowout vs. Colorado in front of 79,000 fans. Little did he know he would be doing this over 25 years later.


“As a UW alum, being able to call games for my school has always been special, regardless of the sport. I just completed my 25th season of football and 26th of men’s basketball and honestly never gave a thought as to how long I’d have this great gig. I just keep showing up and they keep letting me sit behind the mic.”, Mahnke told 


When asked upon a favorite game or most memorable highlight the UW alum shared, ”So many to list, but for football nothing compares to witnessing Ron Dayne set the NCAA rushing record. Same goes for basketball. So many incredible moments, but being able to introduce Jerrell Moore this past season as the “sixth starter” was particularly special for me.” 


Outside of campus, Mike is the co-owner and Senior Vice President of Roundhouse Marketing Services in Verona. Being in his 35th year with the company, Mike enjoys working with a very diverse group of clients which keeps the job “fresh, fun and exciting” just like how you would describe his voice to someone.


In his free time, Mahnke brews his own beer. “Every beer has a “recipe” to define its own particular style, but I enjoy putting my own creative twist into each batch. I enjoy sharing the end result with friends and family and find it rewarding when I’m asked to brew more of something they like”, Mike shared with us.


When asked what other hobbies he has to stay busy, Mike has a collection of unique sports memorabilia and collects rare books. “(I) Love to travel – from Manhattan to Honolulu and everywhere in between”. Mike tells BadgerNotes that he is planning on pursuing a Master’s degree, either in Theology and Religious Studies. “Stay tuned!”

Article By : Noah Birenbaum


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