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.
After learning that he had earned a preseason all-Big 12 honorable mention nod from the league's coaches earlier this week, Kansas center Udoka Azubuike found his name as one of 20 on the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award watchlist, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Friday.
The Kansas men’s basketball team, for the eighth consecutive year, is the preseason pick of the Big 12 coaches to win the 2018-19 Big 12 title. By Matt Tait
Another day, another Kansas basketball player added to a preseason college basketball watchlist. By Matt Tait
If someone is going to end the Kansas men’s basketball team’s streak of consecutive Big 12 regular season titles at 14, they’re going to have to go through the conference’s preseason newcomer and freshman of the year to do it. By Matt Tait
The man to whom he compared him on Wednesday, at KU’s annual media day, became the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and, one year ago, signed a five-year contract extension worth $150 million. By Matt Tait
Two minutes into the first Kansas basketball media day of his career, freshman point guard Devon Dotson already had it down. By Matt Tait
One of the big reasons the 2017-18 Kansas basketball team ended its season at the Final Four in San Antonio in March was the chemistry and cohesion of the seven or eight core members of the team. By Matt Tait
Practices began in late September. The first official game is now less than four weeks away. And Kansas basketball coach Bill Self still does not quite know how he will juggle all of that talent and depth the 2018-19 Jayhawks will bring to the floor this season. By Matt Tait
The first time he saw him play, Kansas coach Bill Self saw something he liked in freshman forward David McCormack. But that was more than 60 pounds ago, when McCormack, the 6-foot-10, 265-pound forward from Oak Hill Academy, weighed well over 300 pounds and used his massive body to bully opponents near the basket. Today, things are a little different. By Matt Tait
While it’s unfair to expect anything close to the numbers put up by Frank Mason III and Devonte' Graham before him, KU freshman Devon Dotson could be well on his way to getting his career off to a faster start than either of those two All-Americans. By Matt Tait