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.
- Texas high school safety chooses Jayhawks
- May 24, 2015
- Kansas University football coach David Beaty was back on Twitter on Saturday, using his #neatdeal approach to tip his hand that the Jayhawks might have landed another commitment in the Class of 2016.
- Haskell suspends football program, possibly others, to cut costs
- 02:01 p.m., May 21, 2015 Updated 10:25 p.m.
- In a move that stirred up emotions across campus, Haskell Indian Nations University on Thursday announced that it has suspended its football program for the 2015 season, citing a lack of funding as the main reason. By Matt Tait
- Disappointing KU baseball season ends on high note
- Junior pitcher Ben Krauth named Big 12 newcomer of the year; 6 other Jayhawks honored
- May 19, 2015
- The 2015 Kansas University baseball season ended in disappointing fashion, with the Jayhawks (23-23 overall, 8-15 in Big 12 play) losing the final series of the season to Kansas State and being the lone team left out of this week’s Big 12 Conference tournament in Tulsa, Oklahoma. But seven Jayhawks earned all-Big 12 honors on Tuesday, putting a silver lining on a frustrating season.
- Healthy Schyler Miles looking to make impact for KU football
- May 19, 2015
- Despite having two years remaining in a college football career that has been littered with injuries, Kansas University linebacker Schyler Miles believes the time is now for him to make an impact. By Matt Tait
- KU baseball digs deep, drops KSU
- May 18, 2015
- With nothing but pride to play for in the final game of the season Sunday at Hoglund Ballpark, Kansas University’s baseball team spotted Sunflower State rival Kansas State a five-run lead and then woke up. By Matt Tait
- K-State ends Kansas baseball’s posteason hopes
- May 17, 2015
- When senior right-hander Drew Morovick stepped onto the mound to start the eighth inning Saturday at Hoglund Ballpark, Kansas University’s baseball team owned a three-run lead and was in complete control of its biggest game of the year. Two innings later, the Jayhawks’ season was effectively finished. By Matt Tait
- KU baseball hammered by K-State, 11-0
- May 15, 2015
- A dominant performance by Kansas State pitcher Nate Griep and a slow and methodical 11-0 pounding by the Wildcats’ offense have made things crystal clear for the Kansas University baseball team the rest of the weekend. Win or else.
- Kentucky to face Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse next season
- May 14, 2015
- The Kentucky Wildcats are coming to Allen Fieldhouse next season. The Big 12 and Southeastern Conferences announced the matchups for the 2015-16 Big 12 / SEC Challenge on Thursday afternoon and the UK at Kansas matchup headlines the slate.
- Jayhawks set for Columbia regional again
- May 13, 2015
- A few weeks ago, Kansas University softball senior Maddie Stein outlined a “Heading for Home” mantra for the Jayhawks to follow to the end the season.
- Juco linebacker commits to Kansas
- May 12, 2015
- Less than 24 hours after adding an offensive lineman scheduled to graduate in December to the Class of 2016, the Kansas University football program picked up another commitment from a juco linebacker, who also is expected to arrive early.