Matt Tait ( 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 — — 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.

Recent stories

Former Jayhawk Thornton proud of Pro Bowl-bound ex-teammates
January 24, 2015
When former Kansas University safety Justin Thornton sits down to watch this year’s NFL Pro Bowl — 7 p.m. Sunday night, ESPN — he’ll see three guys he started next to in KU’s 2008 Orange Bowl secondary making their first appearances in the postseason all-star game. By Matt Tait
Bourbon headed to Washburn; Cox expected back
January 21, 2015
The Journal-World has learned that former Kansas University running back Brandon Bourbon will enroll at Washburn University in Topeka and play his final season of eligibility for the Ichabods next fall.
Youth abounds on new KU football staff
January 20, 2015
For much of his coaching life, Clint Bowen has been one of the youngest guys on any coaching staff of which he has been a part. Not anymore. By Matt Tait
Sooners lament first-half defense after near comeback
January 19, 2015
The Oklahoma Sooners dished plenty of credit to the Kansas University men’s basketball team for its role in Monday night’s hard-fought, 85-78 victory at Allen Fieldhouse. But with the disappointment of coming so close to stealing a victory in one of the most difficult places to win in the country still showing on their faces, the Sooners took their share of the blame for allowing the Jayhawks to explode offensively. By Matt Tait
KU football lands another Texas recruit
January 19, 2015
Shola Ayinde, a two-star defensive back from Georg Ranch High in Richmond, Texas, announced on Twitter late Monday night that he had orally committed to the Kansas University football program. By Matt Tait
Jayhawks hold off Oklahoma rally
January 19, 2015
One monster half by each team provided the opportunity for a wild finish and the Kansas University men’s basketball team, which dominated in the first half, made more plays than Oklahoma down the stretch and came away with a 85-78 victory at Allen Fieldhouse.
KU football lands Florida high school QB Carter Stanley
January 18, 2015
The Kansas University football program picked up another oral commitment in the Class of 2015 over the weekend, as Vero Beach (Florida) High quarterback Carter Stanley pledged to join the Jayhawks. Stanley, a 6-foot-2, 188-pound QB with good mobility and a good arm, was named MVP of his region in 2014 after throwing for 3,070 yards, 40 touchdowns, and seven interceptions and rushing for nearly 600 more yards and seven touchdowns. He has been clocked at 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash. By Matt Tait
ISU atmosphere ‘speaks for itself’
Cyclones credit home crowd after beating KU
January 17, 2015
With ESPN’s College Gameday in the building for the first time in school history, a little more than 7,000 wild and crazy Iowa State fans showed up bright and early for the first taping and didn’t leave until the final score was in their favor and smiles were plastered on their faces. By Matt Tait
Cyclones out-run Jayhawks in KU road loss
January 17, 2015
Iowa State and its fans waited all day and night for a chance to show the nation it was capable of beating mighty Kansas. And then the Cyclones went out and did it. After a back-and-forth first half that ended with ISU leading by three, the Cyclones (13-3 overall, 3-1 Big 12) jumped out to a nine-point lead early in the second half and never looked back in topping Kansas, 86-81.
KU football coaches focus on recruiting
January 16, 2015
With the Kansas University football coaching staff fully in place, head coach David Beaty and company wasted no time in getting out on the road in an attempt to fill the final few spots in the 2015 recruiting class.

Full story list

Recent photos

This 2012 file photo from football practice inside Anschutz Sports Pavilion shows the building on Kansas University's campus where President Barack Obama will give a speech, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015.

Kansas University's Ben Heeney

The Kansas University football game scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Oklahoma has been pushed back to at least 12:30 p.m. because of storms in the area.

Kansas University offensive coordinator and offensive-line coach John Reagan gets down to pad level with a couple of KU lineman during a spring practice in March at Memorial Stadium.

Former NBA all-star Isaiah Thomas talks with Kansas University product Andrew Wiggins before the start of the 2014 NBA Draft in Brooklyn, New York.

Full photo list