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Staff

Matt Tait

KUsports.com men's basketball reporter/KUsports.com Editor

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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.

Recent Stories

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Senior Night came quickly for Kansas trio

The look in his eye and expression on his face said it for him, but Kansas senior Frank Mason III decided to go ahead and attach the words anyway. By Matt Tait

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Gameday Breakdown: KU basketball vs. Oklahoma

A look at some of the keys for Kansas in Monday's Senior Night extravaganza against Oklahoma at Allen Fieldhouse. By Matt Tait

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Notebook: Jayhawks keep business as usual after Big 12 outright title; Bill Walton meets with team

There were no trophies, no hugs and smiles, no celebratory video and, really, no hubbub at all. By Matt Tait

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Dominant Dwight: Coleby's big first half lifts Jayhawks past Texas, 77-67

Kansas forward Dwight Coleby has had moments during his short KU career when his play positively impacted a game. But none of them were like this. By Matt Tait

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Gameday Breakdown: No. 3 KU basketball at Texas

A look at some of the keys for third-ranked Kansas in Saturday's road clash with the Longhorns deep in the heart of Texas.By Matt Tait

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Texas coach Shaka Smart marvels at KU's Big 12 title streak

Nearing the end of just his second season as a head coach in the Big 12 Conference, Texas coach Shaka Smart has been around long enough to get a full understanding of just how impressive Kansas’ streak of 13 consecutive Big 12 titles has been. By Matt Tait

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Townsend brothers tie Kansas, UCLA conference title streaks together

One of just a handful of players to suit up for all three coaches responsible for UCLA’s record run of 13 consecutive conference titles in the late 1960s and 1970s, Raymond Townsend could do nothing but smile when No. 3 Kansas clinched a share of its record-tying 13th-consecutive Big 12 title with a win over TCU on Wednesday night. By Matt Tait

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Four Jayhawks named Academic All-Big 12

One day after helping the team secure a record-tying 13th consecutive Big 12 men's basketball title, four members of the Kansas basketball team added some academic hardware to their memorable week. By Matt Tait

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Notebook: Birthday Boy Graham celebrates 'special' day; Jackson OK after injury scare

Serenaded by the sweet sounds of “Happy Birthday” from Kansas fans throughout the night, KU junior Devonte’ Graham could not have imagined a better way to spend his 22nd birthday. By Matt Tait

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Historic Achievement: Jayhawks crush TCU, earn 13th-straight Big 12 title

All good parties have a guest of honor. And on Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse, the Kansas men’s basketball team welcomed 13 of them. By Matt Tait

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