Mike Lucas is UW–Madison’s colorful voice

Seasoned journalist adds color to play-by-play
Mike Lucas is UW–Madison’s colorful voice
Photo courtesy of Mike Lucas
Mike Lucas

Mike Lucas brings color to Madison unlike anyone else featured in the “50 Things That Give Madison Color” story. Lucas is the color analyst for the University of Wisconsin-Madison men’s football and basketball and formerly for Badgers hockey.

His title is pretty straightforward — the 40-plus-year veteran journalist adds color to Matt Lepay’s play-by-play calls for radio. Lucas, who has offered his color commentary for 25 seasons on the Wisconsin Radio Network and has worked over the last 10-plus years for uwbadgers.com, helps provide context and background to a game as Lepay describes what’s happening.

“Matt Lepay is the 24-ounce porterhouse or the KC bone-in rib-eye, and I’m sort of the potatoes au gratin or loaded hash browns,” Lucas says in true color commentating fashion. “I’m the creamed spinach.”

Lucas’ background in print journalism comes in handy as a color analyst. “I know the players behind the jersey numbers, and I know the coaches behind the decision-making,” he says. “That’s what I try to share with the audience while also being conscious of my role, which is to be a complementary piece to Matt’s play-by-play.” He’s witnessed some pretty incredible sports moments in the process, from Final Four games to national championships.

“I get to see how they handle both success and failure,” he says. “It’s a human narrative, which to me is so revealing.”

This article is part of the May 2019 cover story, “50 Things That Give Madison Color.”