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.
With Montell Cozart back in the starting role at quarterback for Kansas, the Jayhawks got out to a good start, took two first-half leads but, once again, could not escape their own mistakes during Saturday’s 44-20 loss to Oklahoma State at Memorial Stadium.
The Kansas men’s basketball team’s pursuit of some of the top talent in the 2017 class picks up some serious steam this weekend, when Trae Young, of Norman, Oklahoma, makes his official visit to Lawrence. By Matt Tait
The Karl Malone Award on Thursday revealed that KU sophomore Carlton Bragg Jr., was one of 20 players named to the award’s watch list for the 2016-17 season. By Matt Tait
As usual, college basketball’s coaches have a lot of respect for Bill Self’s Kansas team this year. In fact, those polled by USA Today enter the season thinking more highly of only one other team in the nation.
Whether it was Bill Self’s comedy, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk’s singing or all of the photo shoots, autograph sessions and behind-the-scenes exposure more than 400 women got to their favorite college basketball team, Wednesday night’s 7th annual Ladies Night Out with Kansas basketball was a rousing success.By Matt Tait
A day after seeing teammate Frank Mason named to the Bob Cousy Award watch list, Kansas junior Devonte’ Graham found his name on a similar list. By Matt Tait
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self said at KU's recent media day that the 2016-17 Jayhawks have the chance to be more talented and perform better in the biggest moments than last year's team as long as the individual pieces fit together the way he believes they can. By Matt Tait
One of the most highly anticipated meetings in the history of the Big 12 Conference lasted more than five hours, ended a couple of hours earlier than expected and left everyone watching with the following verdict: The Big 12 is not expanding. By Matt Tait
Kansas senior Frank Mason was one of 20 players named to the preseason Bob Cousy Award watch list on Monday. By Matt Tait
He’s still more than 12 months away from actually being able to experience the rivalries for himself, but Kansas transfer Malik Newman recently indicated that he had a pretty good idea of just how competitive Big 12 basketball can be. By Matt Tait