Stephen Hauschka has a Bachelor’s Degree in neuroscience from Middlebury College. He could have gone to dental school, and almost did. His intellect is on unprecedented levels for the NFL. He would probably be a great friend with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, a Harvard Grad. In fact, he probably has more in common with the trainers, doctors, and psychologists that work for NFL franchises than his teammates.
If you met him on the street, you might question that he is an NFL pro-bowl player. So how did this brilliant, low-key guy make it in the NFL?
Well let’s start from his childhood. He was not even a football player growing up. He played soccer, basketball, and lacrosse for his high school in Newton, Mass. He went to Middlebury with hopes of playing varsity soccer and lacrosse. The only problem, he was cut from the varsity soccer team, which was the best thing that could have ever happened to him.
His friend asked him to try out to be the placekicker for the Middlebury College Football team. He gave it a go. And he ran with it. He was the starting placekicker for the Panthers football team for 3 years. He was named All-NESCAC for 2 of those seasons as a kicker and punter.
Because he was cut, he had a 5th year of eligibility in the NCAA. He graduated from Middlebury and found a home at North Carolina State. He was a placekicker for the Wolfpack and did exceptionally well. He was one of the nation’s top kickers going 16-18 in field goals and 25-25 on extra points.
While that was great, he had his eyes on dental school. He was accepted and all set to put football aside for good.
Instead, he decided his hand in the NFL. He started with the Minnesota Vikings then onto the Ravens and Lions and Falcons and Broncos. Hauschka was signed and cut by 5 different NFL franchises. He kicked in the UFL for the Las Vegas Locomotives.
After four long years, he hit the jackpot. In 2011, Hauschka signed with the Seattle Seahawks. In 2013, he won Super Bowl XLVIII. He was a pro-bowl alternate in 2016.
He is now the kicker for the Buffalo Bills. He is on fire. His wife just had his first child in August. He has already been named AFC Special Teams player of the week twice. He has hit 4 50-yard field goals. He is getting paid. He is one of the most interesting stories in the world of sports.
The kid from Needham who played soccer growing up will forever go down in history as a Super Bowl Champion. His varsity soccer coach made the best decision of his career: cutting Stephen Hauschka.