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.
- KU to play it ‘very basic’ at spring game
- April 25, 2015
- The annual Kansas University football spring game has provided KU fans an opportunity to get a fresh look at the team the Jayhawks will put on the field each fall. By Matt Tait
- Column: KU freshman Aldridge ‘loves’ new coach’s message
- April 23, 2015
- Because of her Tuesday class schedule, Kansas University women’s basketball point guard Lauren Aldridge — and the rest of the KU women’s team — was unable to attend the news conference introducing new coach Brandon Schneider. By Matt Tait
- Jayhawks sweep season series with WSU
- April 22, 2015
- Tuesday’s 11-6 victory over Wichita State at Hoglund Ballpark marked the Kansas University baseball team’s sixth consecutive victory over the once-mighty Sunflower State rival.
- Beaty reaching out to students
- April 22, 2015
- As part of his ongoing quest to bring the Kansas University student body and the KU football team closer together, first-year head coach David Beaty plans to spend some time competing with those outside of the program.
- Who are these guys? KU wideout corps unknown for now
- April 21, 2015
- The 2015 Kansas University wide receivers are a pretty anonymous group. And position coach Klint Kubiak expects it to stay that way. By Matt Tait
- Blown away: Texas tees off on KU, takes series
- April 19, 2015
- When Kansas University baseball coach Ritch Price arrived at Hoglund Ballpark on Sunday and saw the wind blowing out, he knew his pitching staff and depleted bullpen would need some help topping Texas. By Matt Tait
- Mood swing: McKay’s walk-off blast fires up KU
- April 19, 2015
- Less than 24 hours after walking off the Hoglund Ballpark field with their heads hanging after a devastating 14-inning loss to Texas, Kansas University’s baseball team left Saturday’s 5-4 victory like over-caffeinated teenagers leaving a rock concert. By Matt Tait
- Texas edges Jayhawks in 14 innings
- April 18, 2015
- Kansas University catcher Michael Tinsley scored a run, drove in another and threw out a runner trying to steal second base.
- KU QBs Montell Cozart and Michael Cummings relishing competition, fresh start
- April 16, 2015
- Ask Michael Cummings and Montell Cozart what it will take to win the job as Kansas University’s starting quarterback for the 2015 season and one theme comes pouring out of both players’ mouths — Consistency. By Matt Tait
- Quad format helps Relays return to roots
- April 16, 2015
- Kansas University athletic director Sheahon Zenger is taking a different tack to return the Kansas Relays to its former glory. By Matt Tait