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Mark Schlereth

Mark Schlereth
Guard, Center
Anchorage, Alaska
January 25, 1966
287 lbs
University of Idaho
NFL Career
12 seasons, 156 games
Washington 1989-1994


Career Highlights

• Three-Time Super Bowl Champion (XXVI, XXXII, XXXIII)
• Two time Pro Bowl selection (1991, 1998)
• Named to the University of Idaho Hall of Fame in 2008
• Named one of the 70 Greatest Redskins
• Named to the Alaska High School Hall of Fame
• George Halas Award 1998
• Named to the Denver Broncos 50th Anniversary Team

They Called Him “Stink”

Mark Schlereth played in the National Football League for 12 seasons – six with the Washington Redskins and six with the Denver Broncos.

He was born on January 25, 1966, in Anchorage, Alaska.

He went to Robert Service High School in Anchorage and graduated in 1984. He was a standout linebacker and center there, and was named to the Cook Inlet Football All Conference Team.

Schlereth played college football at the University of Idaho. He was recruited and given a scholarship by Head Coach Dennis Erickson, who would only be there for one more season.

Schlereth then played for Keith Gilbertson and started at left guard. They made it all the way to the national semifinals in 1988 and Schlereth earned All Big Sky honors. He was ultimately inducted into the University of Idaho Hall of Fame in 2008.

The First

He was selected by the Washington Redskins in the 10th round – 283rd overall – of the 1989 NFL Draft. Upon being drafted, he became the very first Alaskan-born person to play in the NFL.

During his rookie season, Mark told his teammates the story about how Alaskans would bury fish heads and then dig them up and eat them if food was scarce. They were known as Stinkheads. That name stuck with Schlereth and he became known simply as Stink.

He won his first of three Super Bowls in 1991 as a member of The Hogs. That Washington team somehow managed to limit the opposition to just seven sacks of Mark Rypien in the entire season. They steam rolled over the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI, largely on the domination of that offensive line.

He earned his first of two Pro Bowl nods as a result of his play that season.

In recognition of his contributions to the team, the Redskins inducted Schlereth into their Ring of Fame in 2010.

Denver Time

Stink split his career between two teams and two positions – playing right guard for Washington for six seasons and left guard for the Broncos for six seasons.

In Denver he enjoyed two more Super Bowls, XXXII and XXXII, as well as his second Pro Bowl selection.

One of Schlereth’s most memorable moments on the field came during Super Bowl XXXII. He had suffered a torn ligament in his left ankle during the AFC Championship game but chose to play in the Super Bowl anyway. He received a pain-killing injection before the game and went on to play a crucial role in the Broncos’ win.

Surgically Sensational

Schlereth’s career was in fact marked by numerous injuries and surgeries. He endured 29 surgeries – including 20 surgeries on just his knees (15 left, 5 right).

His injuries were featured on Athlete 360, a sports medicine show that was hosted by former Redskins teammate Dr. Mark Adickes.

“He has a great pain threshold,” said Mike Shanahan at one point. “I think the doctors said that it was the worst knee that they’d ever seen.”

Despite his numerous surgeries, he remained a reliable player, and became known for his perseverance.

He also had a great sense of humor.

After two knee surgeries during the 2000 season, Schlereth threw a press conference in the offseason before the 2001 season and said the following:

“The reason I came out here today was to announce that I have just signed a six-year, $42 million contract to extend my career with the Denver Broncos. The truth of the matter is that after going through my 15th operation on my left knee last November, it became painfully obvious that I couldn’t sign a six-year contract for $42 worth of tupperware.”

Over the course of his NFL career, Schlereth played in 156 regular-season games, starting in 140 of them.

Mark Schlereth

Life Away From Football

Mark and his wife Lisa have three children – Alexandria, Avi and Daniel.

After retiring from the NFL, Schlereth has enjoyed a very successful career in broadcasting. He worked as a studio analyst for ESPN, and was an alanyst on NFL Live from 2004 through 2017.

In 2017 he joined Fox as a color commentator for Fox NFL. He was originally part of the number six team with Dick Stockton, but after four seasons was moved to the number three team with Adam Amin and Lindsay Czarniak.

He also appears as an analyst for Fox Sports 1 and hosts a radio show on 104.3 in Denver.

In addition to his broadcasting work, Schlereth has also pursued a career in acting. He has appeared in several movies and TV shows, including Red Dawn, Home Game,  BallersAmerican Guns and as Roc Hoover on The Guiding Light soap opera.

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