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.
The University of Kansas men's basketball team will face fellow blue blood Kentucky for the fifth straight season in 2018-19, the schools announced Thursday.
Hired by Iowa State at the start of the 2005-06 academic school year, Jamie Pollard has seen quite a change in the office he has occupied as the Cyclones' athletic director for the past 13 years. By Matt Tait
The University of Kansas is in the market for a leader of its athletic department for the first time since late 2010 now that Sheahon Zenger is out. Monday morning's news that KU Chancellor Doug Girod had relieved Zenger of his duties, effective immediately, means that the university is looking for its 11th AD in school history. By Matt Tait
This week's NBA combine in Chicago brought with it a mixed bag of results for Kansas center Udoka Azubuike, the lone KU player of the five in attendance who still could return to KU for the 2018-19 season. By Matt Tait
The NBA combine taking place this week in Chicago is all about drills, testing, scrimmages and interviews designed to give all 30 NBA franchises an even better picture of the players they might draft during the June 21 NBA Draft in Brooklyn, N.Y. By Matt Tait
While Day 2 at the NBA combine in Chicago proved to be beneficial for all five Jayhawks in attendance, sharp-shooting guard Svi Mykhailiuk may have helped himself the most. By Matt Tait
The mere idea that former Kansas point guard Devonte' Graham, he of 17 games of 40-plus minutes and 11 more of 38-plus during the 2017-18 season, could be deemed “out of shape” less than two months after the end of his senior season is borderline laughable. By Matt Tait
It is still too early to know whether Kansas will legalize sports betting in the wake of Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling, but already Kansas Athletics can envision the ruling changing its operations. By Matt Tait
KU sophomore Udoka Azubuike may have made his first trip to workout with an NBA franchise at this time last week, but according to Kansas coach Bill Self, now that final exams have finished, Azubuike's workout schedule may increase dramatically. By Matt Tait
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self has celebrated plenty of Mother's Days throughout his 55 years, honoring both his mother, Margaret, and wife, Cindy, many times over on the special holiday. But he's never had one like this. By Matt Tait