Matt Tait (KUsports.com editor)
The year was 1978 and on a warm day in late June, I entered the world at the base of the Flatirons in beautiful Boulder, Colorado.
Because I am a native of Colorado (yes, I used to have the sticker on my car) I instantly was granted membership into the fandom of any and all Colorado sports teams. Throughout the years, I've even been known to embellish the circumstances surrounding my birth to tell the tale that the first thing I remember seeing was glorious Folsom Field, home of the Colorado Buffaloes. Not true. Sue me.
My parents are both natives of Kansas, my mom attended Lawrence High and my dad is a Shawnee Mission South graduate. Because of that, and their love for Kansas University, I moved to Lawrence when I was 10, a few months after Danny and the Miracles made their run to the title (sweet timing, right) and have been here ever since.
I continue to call Colorado home and made many attempts at returning there after moving to Lawrence. I intended to return for high school.... didn't happen. I was certain that I would attend Colorado State University for college.... that didn't happen either, mostly because of the reputation of KU's Journalism School and my in-state status. After that, though, I was sure I would move back to Colorado for my first job. As you surely know by now, that didn't happen either. I used to wonder why I never made it back there, but then it hit me: Lawrence must be a pretty great place and I must like it here. Both are true.
During my time in Lawrence, I attended Pinckney Elementary School for two years, West Junior High for three and graduated from Lawrence High in 1996. After that I attended Kansas University and graduated in 2000 with a degree in Journalism.
During my college days, I covered the KU baseball and basketball teams for the University Daily Kansan. While I enjoyed covering baseball and learned a lot while doing it, basketball was the beat everybody wanted and I still remember my first hoops story for the UDK: Michael Jordan retires. There was something pretty cool about seeing my byline next to a mug shot of Jordan. Other highlights from my time at the UDK included my work following the death of Wilt Chamberlain and a great series that my roommate (Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star) and I did on the top 10 KU athletes of the century around the Y2K craze. The KU athletic department voted on the top 10 and Sam and I split up the names to do stories on five each. Mine: Wilt, Ray Evans, Al Oerter, Jim Ryun and Ralph Miller. What a great time.
In addition to working for the UDK, I was the publisher of a KU sports web site run by Rivals.com — JayhawkTalk.com — which I continued to operate for a little more than a year after graduation.
I joined the World Company in June of 2001, when I was hired to become the sports editor of the Bonner Springs Chieftain and Basehor Sentinel weekly newspapers. In 2004, my position grew to include becoming the sports editor of the Shawnee Dispatch, another weekly, which I helped start from the ground up. In July of 2007 I got the call to the big leagues when I was named High School Sports Editor at the Journal-World.
It was an awesome feeling covering high school sports in the town I grew up in. Many of the coaches who were around when I was at LHS still are there today and it has been an absolute blast reconnecting with them.
In February of 2010, my job title changed again when I was promoted into the role of KU football beat writer. After helping out with our football coverage during Mark Mangino's final couple of seasons, I covered the entire Turner Gill era and lived to tell about it. I never played football — unless you count games in the snow or flag football with friends — but have made it my daily goal to dig as deep as I can into the KU program to help explain how and why things happen while also analyzing the players, coaches and trends surrounding the Kansas football team in a basketball-crazed town.
In May of 2007, my wife, Starr, and I were married in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, where we were anointed by the natives as "Jamericans."
In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, basketball, golf, tennis, yard games, playing guitar, fantasy sports and cheering for any and all Colorado teams.
- Jayhawks’ Aldridge always reliable
- March 5, 2015
- Forty minutes. Roughly the time it takes to get from Lawrence to downtown Kansas City. The total running time of several of those primetime television shows — minus the commercials, of course. Or the number of minutes freshman Lauren Aldridge plays just about every time the Kansas University women’s basketball team hits the floor.
- WVU coach Bob Huggins: We deserved to win the game
- March 4, 2015
- Several West Virginia Mountaineer players said after Tuesday’s 76-69, overtime loss at Kansas that there were moments in the final couple of minutes of regulation that they thought they had done the unthinkable and knocked off Kansas on its home floor. WVU coach Bob Huggins said he felt his team deserved to win but made too many mistakes late to pull it out.
- Jayhawks earn outright Big 12 title in OT
- March 3, 2015
- The Kansas University men’s basketball team scratched, clawed and used overtime to avoid its first loss on Senior Night since 1982-83 and escaped suffering the 10th loss at Allen Fieldhouse under head coach Bill Self. KU prevailed 76-69 in overtime against West Virginia. By Matt Tait
- KU women hold on for 68-64, Senior Night victory over Iowa State
- 09:09 p.m., March 2, 2015 Updated 12:34 a.m.
- As hard as it is for a program to say goodbye to four seniors like the ones the Kansas University women’s basketball team said goodbye to on Monday night, big-time plays from a couple of freshmen sure made it easier. By Matt Tait
- Chelsea Gardner, women’s seniors set for home finale
- March 1, 2015
- It was not until the 19th game of her freshman season that Kansas University forward Chelsea Gardner truly knew she could play in the Big 12. By Matt Tait
- Longhorns wonder about late no-call
- February 28, 2015
- Texas coach Rick Barnes was in no mood to complain about the officiating following Saturday’s 69-64 loss to No. 8 Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse. But the veteran Longhorns leader did not mind mentioning a couple of instances that he thought were key to the outcome of the game. By Matt Tait
- Jayhawks finish strong, defeat Texas
- February 28, 2015
- The Texas Longhorns gave Kansas all the Jayhawks wanted, but KU got tough when it counted most on both ends of the floor and left Allen Fieldhouse with a 69-64 victory Saturday evening.
- KU-OU women at a glance
- February 28, 2015
- Who: Kansas vs. Oklahoma When: 7 tonight Where: Lloyd Noble Center, Norman, Oklahoma Series: Sooners lead 34-29 Notable: Wednesday night, OU snapped No. 3 Baylor’s 25-game winning streak with a 68-64 win in Norman.
- K-State women out-scrap KU, 55-48, at Allen Fieldhouse
- 09:04 p.m., February 25, 2015 Updated 12:18 a.m.
- The Kansas University women’s basketball team dropped the second leg of the 2014-15 Sunflower Showdown — both this week (with the men’s loss Monday) and this year in their own series — 55-48, Wednesday night to Kansas State at Allen Fieldhouse.
- Kansas-Kansas State women at a glance
- February 25, 2015
- When: 7 p.m. today Where: Allen Fieldhouse Who: Kansas vs. Kansas State