At least when it comes to the NFL, anyway, Hausch Money is no more.
Stephen Hauschka, whose penchant for making clutch field goals during the Seahawks’ Super Bowl seasons of 2013 and 2014 earned him the nickname “Hausch Money” from coach Pete Carroll, announced Friday that he is retiring.
Hauschka made the announcement via Instagram, stating in part: “I started kicking a soccer ball at 3, switched to footballs at 19 and now at 35 I’m making the decision to hang up the cleats. It’s been an amazing journey playing professional football the last 12+ years and when I reflect I feel grateful for all of it, the highs and the lows. It’s shaped me and my family and made us stronger and more resilient, more loving and understanding.”
Thus ends an NFL career that spanned from 2008-2020 and saw Hauschka kick with five teams, most recently Jacksonville, for whom he appeared in one game this season and missed both his field-goal attempts (Hauschka was cut after that game and has been a free agent since then,)
But his finest moments came with the Seahawks from 2011-16.
Hauschka was signed shortly before the 2011 season as a replacement for Olindo Mare.
Hauschka had already been on the rosters of five other teams by the time he arrived in Seattle. But everything clicked with the Seahawks, as he made 175 of 197 field-goal attempts (88.8%), the most field goals in team history. His 759 points are second to Norm Johnson’s 810.
Hauschka was particularly effective during the Super Bowl-winning season of 2013 when he made 33 of 35 field-goal attempts and all 44 point-after attempts. That included overtime field goals against Houston and Tampa Bay, the season during which he earned the “Hausch Money” moniker.
He also made all eight of his field-goal attempts during the playoffs that season — including from 49, 38 and 26 yards in rainy, windy conditions during a 23-15 divisional win against New Orleans — and all nine PATs.
“He’s had just an incredible season, and he’s been so consistent,” Carroll said a few days after the Saints game. “Under those conditions? Look what happened on their side of the ball (New Orleans’ Shayne Graham missed both of his attempts). It was a great performance.”
Along with his clutch kicking in those seasons, Hauschka also won over teammates and fans with an unassuming personality.
Hauschka, in fact, didn’t bother to let anyone know until 2016 that everyone had been spelling his first name wrong to that point — it was Stephen instead of Steven. The mistake was first made during his college years at North Carolina State, with Hauschka saying after a while “it just didn’t matter.” He then joked that he didn’t really care which version people used, saying Steven “is my stage name.”
Hauschka signed a three-year, $8.5 million deal after 2013 Super Bowl-title winning season to stay with the Seahawks. He made 60 of 68 field-goal attempts the next two years.
But he struggled in 2016, missing six extra-point attempts (29 of 35) in the second year PATs were moved back to become essentially 35-yard kicks. He also missed a 28-yard field-goal attempt in the final seconds of a 6-6 tie at Arizona.
With Hauschka again a free agent, the Seahawks decided to go another direction and signed Blair Walsh to a one-year deal worth $1.1 million for 2017. Hauschka signed a three-year deal with Buffalo worth up to $8.85 million.
That started a merry-go-round of kickers for Seattle until Jason Myers began to solidify things in 2019. Myers recently surpassed Hauschka for the second-longest streak of consecutive field goals, currently at 26, behind the 30 of Mare. Hauschka made 22 in a row in 2013.
Hauschka spent three seasons with the Bills but was released in August when Buffalo chose to keep rookie Tyler Bass. Hauschka made 22 of 28 field-goal attempts in each of the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
But true to his nickname, among the legacies Hauschka takes with him into retirement is having made 19 of 20 field-goal attempts in the playoffs for the Seahawks and finishing with 84 postseason points, the most in team history.