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.
There’s a rule in place in Big 12 college golf that says players cannot play the course that will host the Big 12 Championship for an entire calendar year leading up to the event. That means no advanced practice rounds, no scouting the greens, no friendly rounds with members to learn some of the local knowledge that might help when it counts. And for the Kansas University golf team, which is seeded sixth at this weekend’s conference championship at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas, that also means no problem. By Matt Tait
Renewing their former Big 12 rivalry for one night at the home of the world champion Kansas City Royals, the Jayhawks and Huskers waged a defensive showdown in front of a crowd of 2,368 fans and combined for just 11 hits in a 3-1 Nebraska victory. By Matt Tait
Kansas University baseball coach Ritch Price’s perfect record at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., will be on the line tonight against an old rival.
Three years ago, the idea of the Kansas University men’s golf team heading to the Big 12 Championship hoping to topple the No. 1 team in the nation seemed ludicrous. Today, with the conference tourney set to begin Friday and No. 1 Texas looming, that is absolutely the Jayhawks’ goal. By Matt Tait
Talking with reporters on the annual post-spring Big 12 football coaches teleconference, Kansas University coach David Beaty went into great detail about one of the areas he believes his team has improved the most since last season — strength. By Matt Tait
Kansas University quarterbacks Montell Cozart and Deondre Ford on Wednesday received word from the Big 12 Conference that their applications for hardship waivers had been accepted. By Matt Tait
The NCAA revealed Wednesday that Kansas University tied an athletic department record with six teams scoring a perfect APR score of 1,000 for the 2014-15 school year. By Matt Tait
Tuesday’s annual post-spring Big 12 football coaches teleconference featured questions and answers about everything from position battles at individual schools to big-picture topics affecting the conference. Second-year Kansas University coach David Beaty was asked about both during the 10 minutes he spent on the phone. By Matt Tait
Monday marked the start of the second incarnation of a recruiting phenomenon known as the Kansas Blast for the Kansas University football program.
Thursday marked the final spring practice of the 2016 season for the Kansas University football program and, after finishing the spring semester and surviving finals, the Jayhawks will be given back to strength and conditioning coach Je’Ney Jackson for the summer.