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.
A Kansas City-based attorney representing Kansas basketball forward Silvio De Sousa released a statement on De Sousa’s behalf Thursday afternoon and its message was simple. “It’s time for the NCAA to be fair to Silvio and immediately reinstate his eligibility,” wrote Scott Tompsett, of Tompsett Collegiate Sports Law in Kansas City, Mo. By Matt Tait
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self constantly preaches to his players that if they focus on the right aspects of the game, good things will follow. There has been perhaps no better example of that philosophy this season than sophomore Marcus Garrett, who dropped a career-high 20 points in Monday night’s win over Texas at Allen Fieldhouse, but did not let his offensive explosion get in the way of the rest of his on-court duties. By Matt Tait
For all of the power and prestige that the burnt orange brand represents throughout college athletics, the Kansas men’s basketball team sure has found a way to give the Longhorns the short end of the stick. By Matt Tait
According to a Monday report from Seth Davis of The Athletic, the Kansas men’s basketball program is prepared to rule KU sophomore Silvio De Sousa ineligible and request that the NCAA immediately reinstate him. Davis’ report, which cites multiple sources who claim KU is prepared to “formally acknowledge to the NCAA that a violation took place,” answers the question that KU officials would or could not answer last week.
A look at some of the keys for 7th-ranked Kansas in tonight's Big Monday matchup vs. Texas at 8 p.m. on ESPN, the first of four Big Monday games for the Jayhawks this season. By Matt Tait
Waco, Texas — Kansas senior Lagerald Vick has had a bunch of memorable moments in a KU uniform, but none quite like this. Late in the first half of Saturday’s 73-68 victory at Baylor, Vick drained a 3-pointer from the wing, just left of the top of the key, that put Kansas ahead 27-22 and launched Vick into some exclusive company.
Waco, Texas — There were some issues at the end of Saturday’s 73-68 victory by No. 7 Kansas over Baylor at the Ferrell Center that certainly will be talked about, but might never be watched. None of them will change the way KU coach Bill Self felt about his latest road victory in the Big 12.
A look at some of the keys for 7th-ranked Kansas in today's Big 12 road battle with Baylor in Waco, Texas. By Matt Tait
There’s enough reason to believe that Chip Lindsey was not Kansas football coach Les Miles’ first choice as KU’s new offensive coordinator to make Lindsey’s departure a little easier to digest. But that’s only if Miles’ Plan C or Plan D or Plan E or wherever we’re at on the list at this point can bring the same kind of buzz and clout to the long-suffering KU program. By Matt Tait
The easy thing to do would be to credit the high-flying freshman for bringing an entirely new dimension to the Kansas basketball lineup. And, sure, no one would blame you for crediting Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji and his lob-catching, high-leaping, energy-laden offensive game for adding life to a sometimes-stagnant KU offense. By Matt Tait