Les Miles is 65, but he’s not prepared to dig into his retirement savings nor the $1.5 million buyout settlement he agreed to last week with LSU football. Far less than what LSU had agreed to pay Miles through 2023, the buyout paved the way for him to accept a new challenge: turn around the moribund football program at the University of Kansas.
Despite smaller budgets than major college football teams, NCAA Division II football is in the midst of a sports facility “arms race,” and school administrators don’t deny it. “It’s kind of like the Division Ones,” said Mel Tjeerdsma, Northwest Missouri State’s legendary former football coach and former athletic director. “You have to keep up with the Joneses. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
Kansas City-area officials celebrated in June when the U.S., Canada and Mexico won their combined bid to host the men’s World Cup soccer tournament in 2026. That’s because the city is one of 17 in the U.S. that have a chance at hosting matches. “Kansas City is probably shining as much as it can and we still have so much room to grow,” Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James said June 14.
The Kansas City Royals are on pace to break a team record. It’s not one they’ll be proud of. In 2005, the team lost 106 games. There are 29 left this season, and whatever the Royals’ record is by then, it may not be the worst in baseball. This weekend’s series between the Royals and Baltimore Orioles will have a say: Two teams mathematically eliminated only four years after they played each other in the American League Championship Series.
Ike Opara was 26 in 2015, in the prime of his career and facing the possibility of retiring from professional soccer due to a torn Achilles tendon. “I thought that was it for me,” Opara said. This year, the defender is one of the major reasons Sporting Kansas City is a MLS Cup contender. Opara is one of a handful of Kansas City professional athletes who have demonstrated that an Achilles injury no longer is considered a career-ender.
Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game is taking place this week in Washington, D.C., with Salvador Perez representing the Royals. But there’s another Kansas City tie: The first All-Star game was played in 1933, the same year the Washington (D.C.) Senators went to the World Series with a first baseman who was known around Kansas City, Missouri. His name was Joe Kuhel (pronounced “cool”).
Bethany College track and cross country coach Aaron Yoder spends a lot of time on the treadmill in the Lindsborg, Kansas, school’s cardio room. It doesn’t seem unusual unless you see what he’s doing — running backward.
Golfers in this week’s U.S. Open will be trying to avoid hitting a ball into the sand. But at courses in Harrisonville, Missouri, or Leonardville, Kansas, finding the sand is equivalent to a day at the beach.
The U.S. men’s soccer team won’t be in this summer’s World Cup in Russia, and the organization is trying to figure out how to re-enter the world’s consciousness. In that, Kansas City plays a prominent role —in more ways than one.
Patty Gasso has spent her last 24 years in the dugout, coaching Oklahoma’s softball team to 12 Women’s College World Series appearances. But she’s an anomaly in the Big 12 Conference: one of only three women heading a softball team. Among the Power 5 conferences (Big 12, SEC, Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12), the Big 12 is the only one to have more men running softball teams than women.
In December, Kansas Jayhawks coach Bill Self did not have reassuring words about the men’s basketball team. “This is the softest team that Kansas has had since I’ve been here,” Self said. Those remarks came after the Jayhawks suffered a home loss to Arizona State on Dec. 10. Just four days earlier, Kansas lost to Washington in front of a friendly crowd at the Sprint Center. KU’s play, even in some wins this season, left Self frustrated.
Kansas City native Amaad Wainright already has had some big moments with the Kansas State men’s basketball team, including the team's run to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 and a season-high 35 minutes played during a Big 12 tournament loss to conference champion Kansas earlier this month.
Mizzou’s Michael Porter Jr. is the type of player coaches build a team around, and many wanted to. Even Kansas. “The things that people say about him being a potential top-3 pick or the No. 1 pick, totally accurate,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said last fall about Porter likely landing in the NBA. “I’d be shocked if he’s not. I think he’s every bit as good as advertised.”
CSU-Bakersfield men’s basketball coach Rod Barnes emerged from the locker room late last month at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City. He was seeking a familiar face, one who gave Ole Miss its first all-African-American starting five, who encouraged him to not listen to naysayers. He was looking for former UMKC athletic director and basketball coach Lee Hunt, the man who was on the leading edge of race relations in high school and college sports during the Civil Rights Era. Barnes found him,...
The four-lane road that connects Manhattan, Kansas, and Interstate 70 is wider and busier now than it was when Bill Snyder took over as Kansas State’s football coach in 1989. So much so that it’s named after Snyder, who has more than 200 wins at K-State, making him only the sixth person to do that with one football program. Snyder is 78, the oldest coach in the top division of college football. And while his 26 th season with the team ended Tuesday on a high note with a 35-17 win over UCLA...
Updated Dec. 1 with score of semifinal, date of title game — The undefeated Central Missouri Jennies women’s soccer team is hoping to earn its first NCAA Division II national championship. But this season, which continues Saturday with the title game matchup against Carson-Newman, wasn’t without challenges: The team has been affected by an increasing national trend from high school athletics to the pros — concussions.
This year’s NCAA women’s volleyball final four will be held at Sprint Center next month, and players with Kansas City roots are hoping for a homecoming. Five volleyball players from Kansas City-area high schools are hoping to repeat last year’s success in the tournament. Their teams—Stanford, Minnesota and Texas—made it to the final four in 2016.
Sporting Kansas City faces a win-or-go-home situation Thursday night in the Major League Soccer playoffs at Houston. It’s the seventh straight year Sporting is in the post-season. To develop its own players, the team is spending millions of dollars through its academy. But Sporting’s investment hasn’t always paid off as planned.