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Off the Rim column: New sports editor loves KU basketball, sports

April 2, 2012
By Jimmy Gillispie - Sports Editor , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Hello east-central Iowa and Trojan students, parents and coaches. I'm your new sports editor in town and I'm happy to be here. This is a good opportunity for me to progress my career at my second newspaper in more than seven years. Let me introduce myself and tell you a bit about me.

First, I moved here from northeast Kansas. I lived 30 minutes from Kansas City for nearly 30 years before moving here. Yep, I'll be 30 this summer, even though I probably don't even look 25 to most people.

I grew up in Baldwin City, Kans., and graduated high school there before attending Baker University. It's an NAIA school with around 950 enrollment. I studied journalism and graduated in 2004 with a mass communications degree. One day after my commencement, I started a job with my hometown newspaper.

I was the lone sports staff person, so I was responsible for reporting, photography, pagination, social media and several other things. I also wrote news and covered the school district, so I acquired a diverse array of talents at my first job.

It was a fun job and I loved covering the sports, because the coaches and athletes were great. Not to mention, there were some state championships won in cross country (too many to count), track, wrestling and several school activities.

I don't know much about the teams here, but I'm trying to learn quickly. I have been told there are a several good ones, so maybe I can bring some success with me from my alma mater.

That's about it for my work background. I should mention that I am a huge Kansas University fan, especially basketball. I know the Jayhawks aren't popular up here, so I'll keep it to myself when the Jayhawks and Cyclones play each other.

Although I didn't attend KU, the campus was 20 minutes from where I lived. I did have three sisters, a handful of cousins, aunts and uncles that graduated from KU. My grandfather was also a big part of the university, so I have reasons to cheer for my Jayhawks.

I would have been a KU students had I chose not to run cross country and track in college. I ran long distance in high school, as I was blessed with an incredible coach, and had a couple offers to run in college, so I accepted a scholarship to run at Baker, my hometown college.

Since finishing my running career, I've tried to get back into it each summer, but it fails each time. I'll run a bit to get back in shape, but once the school year starts, I become dormant for nine months. With my landmark birthday on the horizon, maybe I'll make a legitimate goal to stay in shape. I still compete in races, maybe one or two during the summer, because my competitive drive will always be inside me.

Other hobbies include football, basketball and most things outdoors. In the last three years, I've taken up ultimate frisbee. It's become my primary hobby.

Well, that's about it for me. Feel free to email me at and I'll be sure to answer any questions to just start a conversation. I'll be sure to get around to the upcoming spring sports and meet people. Don't be a stranger - come say hi.

Good luck this spring Trojans!



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