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.
- Young Loneker to walk on to KU
- July 1, 2015
- The uniform he’ll be asked to fill will not be quite as large, but Kansas University’s football team has cleared the way to add another Loneker. By Matt Tait
- Stover stars in street sprints
- June 27, 2015
- When Lawrence resident Benn Stover left his house off of West 6th Street and headed toward downtown Lawrence early Friday evening, he had no idea that the bike ride he took then would wind up being a prelude to a victory lap.
- Hometown to honor ex-Jayhawk Harris
- June 24, 2015
- The hits just keep coming for former Kansas University cornerback Chris Harris, now a member of the Denver Broncos and one of the better defensive players in the NFL.
- Next stop for Stigler: USA Championships
- June 24, 2015
- With the vivid memory of crossing the finish line first at the recent NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, fresh in his mind, Kansas University’s 400-meter hurdler Michael Stigler is setting his sights even higher.
- Team Canada arrived in K.C. familiar with KU brand
- June 23, 2015
- When Canadian guard Adika Peter-McNeilly first heard that he and his countrymen were going to face Kansas University in an exhibition game at Sprint Center, his mind immediately flashed back to a former Jayhawk with whom he was pretty familiar. By Matt Tait
- Kansas football lands 2016 commitment
- June 21, 2015
- Three-star, Class of 2016 athlete Marquis Smith orally committed to Kansas University’s football program on Saturday, according to JayhawkSlant.com. By Matt Tait
- Golden year: ‘Maturity’ key to Michael Stigler’s hurdle crown
- June 17, 2015
- Newly crowned 400-meter hurdle national champion Michael Stigler doesn’t have to think too hard to remember the details that led up to last weekend’s championship run because they’ve been ingrained for years. By Matt Tait
- Column: Jimmay Mundine in good position with Pats
- June 13, 2015
- In the case of former Kansas University tight end Jimmay Mundine, the odds of making a deep run at a roster spot this fall increased recently when Mundine signed a free-agent deal with the New England Patriots. By Matt Tait
- Jayhawk takes over at Indiana
- June 11, 2015
- Former Kansas University tight end Lyonel Anderson, who played with the Jayhawks from 2003-04, earlier this week was named the head strength coach for Indiana University basketball.