Advertisement

Staff

Matt Tait

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 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.

Recent Stories

Tease photo

KU Football lands second D-End commitment of the day

Three-star prospect Troy James becomes 4th player from Louisiana to commit to Kansas

Troy James, a three-star defensive end from Baton Rouge, announced on Twitter around 5 p.m. Tuesday that he was orally committing to Kansas.

Tease photo

KU's Self, Schneider remember Pat Summitt as one of the best to ever coach

Kansas basketball coaches Bill Self and Brandon Schneider share their thoughts on legendary Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt, who passed away Tuesday morning at age 64 after a battle with early onset dementia. By Matt Tait

Tease photo

Former Hawaii defensive end commits to KU football

Garden City-bound defensive end Jamie Tago, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound prospect originally from Hawaii on Tuesday orally committed to KU. By Matt Tait

Tease photo

Jayhawks represented at swim trials

Five women with ties to Kansas University swimming will join hundreds of other Olympic hopefuls this week in Omaha, Neb., at the CenturyLink Center for this year’s U.S. Olympic Trials.

Jayhawks venture to Windy City for latest football commitment

The Kansas University football program is not stopping at Louisiana when it comes to mining new recruiting territory. By Matt Tait

Tease photo

Chicago DB Robert Topps picks KU

Marist High prospect becomes KU's 6th 3-star commitment in 2017 class so far

Late Monday night, roughly 12 hours after learning about an oral commitment from McKinney, Texas safety Akayleb Evans earlier in the day, Kansas football coach David Beaty and company picked up another commitment from a 3-star defensive back.

Tease photo

KU football adds another 3-star commitment

The Kansas football program picked up another three-star commitment on Wednesday, marking a big day for both the player and the program. By Matt Tait

Tease photo

Dream job now a reality for Brian Hanni, the new voice of the Jayhawks

Tuesday proved to be the day a dream came true for Brian Hanni, who learned from Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger via telephone that he was the choice to be the next play-by-play voice of Kansas basketball and football, succeeding Bob Davis, who retired this season after holding the post since 1984. By Matt Tait

Tease photo

Jayhawks land in-state offensive lineman

Joey Gilbertson, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound tackle from Wichita’s Northwest High, on Monday announced via Twitter that he had orally committed to KU. By Matt Tait

Tease photo

Workout Warrior of the Week: Ehambe 'freakin' animal'

When sophomore defensive end Josh Ehambe learned that he had been selected by Kansas University strength and conditioning coach Je’Ney Jackson as this week’s Workout Warrior of the Week, one of the first places his mind traveled was to his good friend and teammate Cameron Rosser. By Matt Tait

More stories