Matt Tait ( football reporter)

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

Montell Cozart named KU’s starting quarterback for 2014
09:58 a.m., April 17, 2014 Updated 12:23 a.m.
Thursday morning, KU coach Charlie Weis announced in a press release that the sophomore Montell Cozart’s body of work this spring was impressive enough to land him the Jayhawks’ starting quarterback job for the 2014 season. By Matt Tait
No kidding: KU safety regularly reminds teammates of award
April 17, 2014
Let it never be suggested that Kansas University safety Isaiah Johnson is taking his reign as the Big 12’s defensive newcomer of the year too seriously. By Matt Tait
KU football coaches now turn to chemistry
April 15, 2014
It was not just new faces in helmets and shoulder pads who made their presence felt during the Kansas University football team’s recently completed spring session. By Matt Tait
Cozart: Offense shows progress
April 14, 2014
Even if he was disappointed in the way things played out during the first half of Saturday’s spring football game, Kansas University quarterback Montell Cozart was not surprised by the first-team offense’s slow start during the blue team’s 20-10 victory over the second-string white squad at Memorial Stadium. By Matt Tait
Sophomore bump: Cozart helps rally first-teamers to victory in spring game
April 13, 2014
Saturday’s Kansas University spring football game, between the first-string blue squad and the best of the rest on the white team, featured more than a few head-scratching moments in front of roughly 8,000 fans at Memorial Stadium. While the blue team rallied for a 20-10 victory after trailing 7-0 at halftime, perhaps the biggest shocker came on the first score of the game. By Matt Tait
KU NFL players return, tell team ‘enough is enough’
April 13, 2014
Former Kansas University football players and current NFL players Aqib Talib, Anthony Collins and Chris Harris returned to Lawrence for Saturday’s spring football game and delivered a message to this year’s team: ‘Enough is enough.’ Spring game notes by Matt Tait
Fans’ fun focus for Weis at KU football spring game
April 12, 2014
When Kansas University’s football team takes the field at 1 p.m. today at Memorial Stadium for the annual spring game, it will do so with a handful of instructions from coach Charlie Weis and his coaching staff. By Matt Tait
Column: Five intriguing elements of KU football’s upcoming spring game
April 11, 2014
Saturday’s spring football game will give Kansas University fans a chance to see plenty of elements of Charlie Weis’ third Jayhawk team. Column by Matt Tait
Weis reflects on spring progress
April 9, 2014
With the exception of a week off for spring break in late March, the past five weeks have included a lot of prodding and probing for Kansas University’s football program.
KU freshman Joel Embiid headed to NBA Draft
April 9, 2014
Kansas University freshman center Joel Embiid, a 7-footer from Cameroon who averaged 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds for KU in 28 games during the 2013-14 season, announced his intention to turn pro at the Allen Fieldhouse media room this afternoon with several coaches and teammates in attendance.

Full story list

Recent photos

Former Kansas University running back James Sims sprints through the finish of the pro shuttle drill in front of a couple of NFL scouts on Friday at Memorial Stadium. Thirteen other former Jayhawks joined Sims at KU’s annual Pro Day on Friday, March 14, 2014, at the KU football facilities.

Kansas University wide-receivers coach Eric Kiesau meets with the media on Thursday, March 6, 2014, before KU football’s first spring practice.

Members of the Kansas University volleyball team watch the NCAA selection show on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013. The Jayhawks learned they again would host the first two rounds of the tournament.

The Kansas University football team announced its 2013 captains — from left, senior running back James Sims, junior quarterback Jake Heaps, junior linebacker Ben Heeney and junior defensive tackle Keon Stowers — on Monday.

Kansas University quarterback Jake Heaps hands an autographed football back to Cooper Reeves, 8 of Overland Park, during the meet-and-greet portion of the Jayhawks' Fan Appreciation Day on Saturday, August 17, 2013, at Memorial Stadium.

Full photo list