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 players pay tribute to ex-recruit Maloney
- July 25, 2015
- Sixteen members of Kansas University’s 2015 football recruiting class, which included former Shawnee Mission West standout Andre Maloney, who passed away in 2013 after collapsing on the sideline during a game with the Vikings, recently made a surprise visit to Cafe 29 in Overland Park, the restaurant run in Maloney’s honor by his mother, Rosaelida.
- Linebacker reveals his plans to play for Kansas
- July 25, 2015
- Snow in Kansas in the heart of the summer is hard to imagine, but the Kansas University football program keeps finding a way to make it happen.
- Leaders emerging for Kansas football
- July 24, 2015
- For the 2015 edition of Kansas University’s football team, which is being asked to replace all but a couple of starters on defense and basically an entire batch of playmakers on offense, that leadership began to emerge over the summer. By Matt Tait
- Beaty believes in Memorial Stadium
- July 22, 2015
- At Big 12 media days earlier this week in Dallas, one of the more popular inquiries thrown at first-year Kansas University coach David Beaty had to do with how much it helped him to have been at Kansas as an assistant in the past when the Jayhawks were rolling.
- Wrong number: Kansas DE Ben Goodman switches up digits
- July 22, 2015
- There’s a permanent stamp on a leg of Kansas University defensive end Ben Goodman that forever will remind him of the jersey number he wore for the first four years of his college football career. But it’s a place in his heart that inspired Goodman to ditch No. 93 — and deal with the tattoo — before his senior season and move to No. 10. By Matt Tait
- KU football notebook: QB Cummings already throwing but nowhere near ready
- July 21, 2015
- Injured during the spring game and thought to be out for the 2015 season, senior quarterback Michael Cummings recently shocked his head coach, just a handful of weeks removed from knee surgery.
- First-year Kansas coach David Beaty comfortable as face of anonymous program
- July 21, 2015
- A number of different looks, sounds and faces have represented Kansas University football at Big 12 Media Days in Dallas during the past several years. But few of them dripped the passion, excitement and enthusiasm that current KU coach David Beaty carried to the podium on Monday morning at the Omni Hotel. By Matt Tait
- Beaty: Dad was there when Lee Harvey Oswald was shot
- July 20, 2015
- In the city once rocked by the assassination of president John F. Kennedy, Kansas University football coach David Beaty recalled the tale of his father’s eye-witness account of the murder of Kennedy’s killer, Lee Harvey Oswald.
- KU Football lands 2016 junior college D-tackle
- July 19, 2015
- Even though it won’t do much to help this season, the Kansas University football program on Sunday took a step toward fixing one of its weakest and thinnest positions, when Snow College defensive tackle Manaia Perese orally committed to join the program.