MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) — It was a bitter sweet Saturday for Badger fans of all ages, as UW Marching Band Director Mike Leckrone led the band for the final time at Camp Randal Stadium after 50 years a top the ladder.
“It’s simple thanks. You just got to say thanks,” says Leckrone.
After half a century worth of making memories and music, UW- Band Director Mike Leckrone knew saying goodbye to Camp Randall would be difficult for him.
Many band alumni came back to support Leckrone and cheer him on during the halftime performance and the 5th Quarter.
“To talk to the people here today it’s very exhilarating to see people I have not seen in many many years,” he adds. “I’m very grateful for that.”
Just as Leckrone celebrates his unforgettable memories with Badger football, the seniors on the football team and in the band also said their goodbyes.
While 50 years may have passed, Leckrone says no two classes of students were the same.
“The great thing about what I’ve done is I’ve never felt like I’ve done the same thing twice,” he says. “Every year each class is different and I’ve had 50 different bands.”
As for retirement plans, Leckrone says he’s not quite sure what he’ll do, but would love to keep enjoying music.
“The big thing is it’s been such a pleasurable opportunity for me and I haven’t gotten tired of it yet,” he chuckles.
The band director still has a lot to look forward to as the year continues, including a Wisconsin bowl game as well as basketball and hockey season.