Advertisement

Staff

Matt Tait

KUsports.com men's basketball reporter/KUsports.com Editor

Photo of Matt Tait

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 KU, 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 have 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 the University of Kansas 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 include my work following the death of Wilt Chamberlain and a great series that my former 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 and did five stories apiece. 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 and Charlie Weis eras and lived to tell about it. I never played football — unless you count games in the snow or flag football with friends — but made it my daily goal to dig as deep as I could 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 October of 2013, I was promoted to KUsports.com Editor and began working more closely with all aspects of our coverage of KU athletics while also managing writers, working with web developers, overseeing and making decisions about our coverage and online initiatives, trouble-shooting and interacting even more with our readers.

During the summer of 2016, the Journal-World and KUsports.com were sold by the World Company to Ogden Newspapers and as a part of that transition I became the KU basketball beat writer while also retaining my title as KUsports.com Editor.

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

Tease photo

Silvio De Sousa wins appeal, becomes eligible to play at KU during 2019-20 season

The wait is over. Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa will play basketball for the Jayhawks next season. By Matt Tait

Tease photo

NCAA, KU hold Silvio De Sousa appeal hearing

According to a report from CBS Sports, the appeal hearing for Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa took place Friday morning and a ruling could come in a matter of hours. By Matt Tait

Tease photo

Report: Hampton family waiting to see who stays in NBA Draft before making college decision

There is now actual evidence that Class of 2019 KU target R.J. Hampton is waiting for the NBA’s underclassman draft deadline to make his college decision. That’s what Hampton’s father, Rod Hampton, told Adam Zagoria this week during an interview about the 5-star guard’s future. By Matt Tait

KU baseball drops Game 1 at Big 12 tourney, 12-8 to West Virginia

An early eight-run hole proved to be too much for the Kansas baseball team to climb out of during a 12-8 loss to West Virginia in the opening round of the Big 12 tournament in Oklahoma City.

Tease photo

Kansas Athletics shifts healthcare oversight from KU's campus to medical offices

Forty Kansas Athletics employees specializing in sports medicine are now reporting to actual doctors and medical professionals instead of KU administrators. By Matt Tait

Tease photo

KU baseball hoping to keep hot streak alive at Big 12 tournament

After opening the season with 24 consecutive road games and a 2-7 record in Big 12 play, the Kansas baseball team finished the regular season with a winning record and enters this week’s Big 12 tournament as one of the hottest teams in college baseball. By Matt Tait

Tease photo

Former Jayhawk Gary Woodland shoots best round of the day to crack Top 10 at PGA Championship

Nobody shot a better final round at the 2019 PGA Championship than former Kansas golfer Gary Woodland on Sunday. And as a result, the former Jayhawk and Topeka native carded his second ever Top 10 finish at one of golf’s major tournaments.

Tease photo

3-point shot has been an emphasis for Dedric Lawson ahead of NBA combine

After earning Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and All-American honors for averaging a double-double during his first season with the Jayhawks, Dedric Lawson spent the past six weeks in Los Angeles working on his game and body to position himself to show that he belongs in the first round. By Matt Tait

Tease photo

KU women's basketball coach Brandon Schneider believes culture change necessary to get program on track

Kansas women’s basketball coach Brandon Schneider characterized a Wednesday morning meeting with first-year KU athletic director Jeff Long as having gone well and came away feeling like Long was in his corner. By Matt Tait

Tease photo

KU target, grad transfer Rayjon Tucker closing in on a decision after Kansas visit

Over the weekend, the Kansas basketball program, along with the city of Lawrence and KU’s campus, got their shot at impressing graduate transfer Rayjon Tucker, who made an official visit to KU and appears to be zeroing in on making a decision about where he’ll send his final season of college basketball next season. By Matt Tait

More stories