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.
- Three-point shooting helps KU hold off Leopards
- December 20, 2014
- Lafayette’s game plan on Saturday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse was to shoot well from the outside on offense, help inside on defense and hope to catch a couple of breaks that would allow the Leopards to hang in there against 10th-ranked Kansas University on its home floor. By game’s end, Lafayette was able to put a checkmark in each of those boxes, but that did not prevent the Jayhawks from rolling to a 96-69 victory. By Matt Tait
- Jayhawks show off depth in rout of Lafayette
- December 20, 2014
- Six players reached double digits in scoring and the Kansas University men’s basketball team improved to 9-1 with a 96-69 victory over a scrappy Lafayette team Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse. By Matt Tait
- Former Jayhawk Kevin Kane expected to join KU football coaching staff
- December 19, 2014
- Sources close to the Kansas University football program earlier this week told the Journal-World that former KU linebacker Kevin Kane is expected to rejoin the program as a part of new head coach David Beaty’s coaching staff. By Matt Tait
- Beaty dispenses recruiting credit to staff
- December 18, 2014
- Newly hired Kansas University football coach David Beaty has received a lot of praise for his early run of success on the recruiting trail that landed eight mid-year junior-college transfers on Wednesday.
- Friends Bates, Banks among KU signees
- December 17, 2014
- Even though Trinity Valley Community College teammates Bazie Bates IV and D’Andre Banks committed to the Kansas University football program six months apart, the two friends and teammates spent plenty of time talking about the Jayhawks during the wait.
- Mathis set to sign with KU
- December 16, 2014
- A little more than a week ago, Kilgore College cornerback M.J. Mathis had his entire world turned upside down.
- KU commitment Ke’aun Kinner named first-team juco All-American
- Jayhawks also on the verge of adding another offensive lineman
- December 16, 2014
- Recent Kansas University football commitment Ke’aun Kinner, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound running back from Navarro College, was named a first-team NJCAA All-American on Tuesday.
- Juco RB Kinner picks Kansas
- December 15, 2014
- Kansas University football program picked up yet another commitment from the Class of 2015 Monday afternoon.
- Another Texas athlete commits to Beaty, Kansas football
- December 15, 2014
- The break in the latest Kansas University football recruiting haul lasted barely 12 hours, as KU coach David Beaty and his program picked up another oral commitment Monday morning.
- KU football picks up 5 commitments from busy weekend
- December 14, 2014
- Last week, during his first week on the job, Kansas University football coach David Beaty wasted no time in hitting the recruiting trail. This weekend, with 11 prospects making official visits to campus, five future Jayhawks rewarded that effort by wasting little time committing to Kansas.