Greg Echlin | KBIA

Greg Echlin

Ever since he set foot on the baseball diamond at Fernwood Park on Chicago's South Side, Greg Echlin began a love affair with the world of sports.  After graduating from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, he worked as a TV sports anchor and a radio sportscaster in Salina, Kansas.  He moved to Kansas City in 1984 and has been there since covering sports.  Through the years, he has covered multiple Super Bowls, Final Fours and Major League Baseball's World Series and All-Star games.

 

With his high metabolism rate, Greg is able to enjoy a good meal and stay slim when he's not running around on the sports scene.  He loves desserts, even making them.  Cheesecakes, pies and parfaits are the most common around the Echlin household.

Scott Frantz has been quietly preparing for what lies ahead since Kansas State’s football season ended at a bowl game on Dec. 31. It’s a future that could change NFL history.

Frantz, an offensive lineman from Lawrence, is gay. His teammates and the Wildcat faithful have known that for three years. But not since Mizzou’s Michael Sam has a college football player been out publicly before seeking a pro career. 

Katie Sowers’ childhood passion for football has carried her from Hesston, Kansas, to Miami — and the Super Bowl, where she’ll be the first woman to ever coach in the title game.

Sowers is an assistant coach on offense for the rival San Francisco 49ers, and will be in the skybox with the other coaches strategizing against the Kansas City Chiefs, and the city she loves so much the skyline is tattooed on her left forearm. She’s also the first openly LGBTQ coach in the NFL and, thus, Super Bowl LIV.

It turns out, Patrick Mahomes isn’t the first Chiefs player from Texas Tech University to star in a Super Bowl.

That honor goes to E.J. Holub, who is the only player in NFL history to start a Super Bowl on offense and defense. In Super Bowl IV, he snapped the football to the game’s Most Valuable Player, Len Dawson, as the Chiefs’ starting center.

Four years earlier, he started at linebacker in the very first Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers.

Not since Len Dawson guided the Kansas City Chiefs to the Super Bowl IV title has the team had such an elite quarterback at the centerpiece of the offense and the team. 

But even Patrick Mahomes, who’s been the starting QB since 2018, knows he’s not the sum of all the parts on offense and defense. Here are five guys not named Mahomes who also bring something special to the Chiefs:

Mark Powell of Raymore, Missouri, was raised a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs by his father, who was stationed at the Fort Sill military base in Lawton, Oklahoma. That was even before his junior high school classmate in Lawton, Will Shields, went off to play college football at Nebraska and later had a 14-year Pro Football Hall of Fame career with the Chiefs.

Being accustomed to the military life, Powell found it easy to get up before dawn Sunday and says he arrived at the Arrowhead Stadium parking lot for the AFC Championship game at 4:45 a.m. 

David Glass, the former owner of the Kansas City Royals who sold the club late last year, has died.

The team announced his death Friday, saying he "passed away last week." Glass was 84 years old.

Glass bought the Royals in 2000. Before that, he had served as the team's chairman of the board after the death in 1993 of the team's founder, Ewing Kauffman.

Fans have high expectations for Eliah Drinkwitz, the newly named University of Missouri head football coach. But a former college president’s research has found that if history holds, Tigers fans’ hopes could be dashed.

Former Kansas State University President Jon Wefald estimates that Drinkwitz, or any coach in a similar position, has at best a 30% chance of success.

“I’m not a mathematician,” said Wefald, who retired from Kansas State in 2009.  “I just use common sense. Quite a few people have read my paper, and no one disagrees with the 30%.”

The University of Kansas football team finished with a 3-9 record this year — the same record as its 2018 season, which cost head coach David Beaty his job.

But there’s a different feeling about the program this year after Beaty’s successor, Les Miles, completed his first season. 

Beaty was fired after four years as the head coach with a record of 6-42. In 2015, Beaty’s first season, the Jayhawks were one of two major college football teams in the country — the other was Central Florida — without a win.  

It seems odd that Sporting Kansas City would make a presentation this week at a national sustainable agriculture summit. 

After all, professional sports eat up lots of resources: jet and diesel fuel for trips to away games, water to keep the turf or fairways looking lush and electricity to fire up their fans and keep score.

John Sherman has been a familiar face to Major League Baseball owners. To Kansas City Royals fans, he will become one after the other MLB owners officially approved his ownership of the team at their meeting in Arlington, Texas, on Thursday.

After the meeting ended. Sherman opened his brief statement by acknowledging his partnership with the Cleveland Indians as a 30% owner.

The Benedictine College football team in Atchison, Kansas, will likely help its coach keep a somewhat dubious distinction. Ravens coach Larry Wilcox has more career wins without a national championship than any other active college football coach in the country.

Wilcox has 296 career victories, 14th on the all-time football coaching victories list. Regarded as a legendary figure in Atchison with 41 seasons as a head coach, Wilcox has the Ravens’ home stadium named in his honor — Larry Wilcox Stadium.

The 2019 calendar for the U.S. women’s national soccer team is over, but for new coach Vlatko Andonovski, who has strong ties to Kansas City, the work is just beginning.

Andonovski’s coronation by U.S. Soccer as the new coach of the women’s team was held, Oct. 28, in New York. He won his first two matches with the team, beating Sweden 3-2 and Costa Rica 6-0. The international friendlies are helping prepare the team ahead of the Olympic qualifiers.

Three days after padlocking Village West Stadium and evicting the Kansas City T-Bones, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County has agreed to enter a new relationship with an organization called Max Fun Entertainment LLC, which plans to buy the team.

Commissioners voted 9-1 on Thursday night to transfer the team’s ownership to Max Fun from the John Ehlert family, which owes the UG $700,000 in back rent and unpaid utility bills.

To help celebrate the Kansas City Chiefs’ 60th year, the franchise has asked area artists to design retro game day posters to raise money for area charities.

The idea was inspired by other major league franchises such as the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers, which sold locally designed posters at each of its 41 regular season home games and into the playoffs.

A Grain Valley teen is one of five athletes picked to compete at the world gymnastics championships in Stuttgart, Germany for the United States women’s team.

Kara Eaker, 16, is competing for the U.S. on the senior level for her second straight year. She made the balance beam final at last year’s world championships in Doha, Qatar. 

Sporting Kansas City’s 2019 season started with a bang: Reaching the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League tournament, the most prestigious soccer club tournament in North America. But it ended with a thud.

Sporting’s streak of eight straight seasons of making the playoffs, the third longest in Major League Soccer behind Seattle (10) and New York (9), officially came to a halt after a 2-1 loss at Minnesota on Wednesday night. 

After managing the Kansas City Royals to some of the club’s greatest glories and long stretches as one of the worst teams in baseball, Ned Yost has announced he’ll retire at the end of the 2019 season.

When the Royals finish their latest 100-loss season at home against Atlanta and Minnesota this week, Yost will leave behind more than a few memorable moments. 

In the best of times for the Kansas City Chiefs and through the worst, the organization has heard women’s voices loud and clear. Since the 1990s, the team has been conscientious about listening to the players’ wives and girlfriends when it comes to family concerns.

“It was amazing … to hear them and their side of it,” said Lamonte Winston, the team’s former executive director of player development until 2009. He first joined the Chiefs as a scout in 1993.

The Unified Government of Kansas City, Kansas, and Wyandotte County served the Kansas City T-Bones with an eviction notice.

The UG cites more than $700,000 in unpaid rent and utilities as the reason for the eviction notice.

T-Bones president Adam Ehlert released a statement late in the day. He called the timing a surprise and said that the organization was “shocked by what appears to be this capricious action.”

The T-Bones have been up for sale for almost a year, but in the statement, Ehlert said that a sale would not come during the season.

The Kansas City T-Bones have 17 seasons and 3 independent baseball league championships to their name. But for almost a year, they’ve been up for sale with no takers and behind on their bills.

“The market has changed. Kansas City has changed, so a lot of things have changed,” T-Bones general manager Chris Browne said.

Kansas City Chiefs star wide receiver Tyreek Hill won’t be sanctioned over an incident in which his 3-year-old son was injured. The NFL's decision comes just days before traning camp starts Tuesday.

Kansas City is being considered to become a USA Gymnastics national team training center site. But with the governing body’s change in leadership and its own future still unsettled in the wake of a massive sexual abuse scandal, the USAG said it doesn’t have a timeline for its decision.

Updated at 11:48 a.m. with commission's approval — Chris Payne had hoped that there would have been Memorial Day Weekend racing at a new motorsports complex like there was with the Indianapolis 500, the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Formula One’s Monaco Grand Prix.

That wasn’t the case. But there are signs that it will be a reality in 2020 at the old I-70 Speedway. On Wednesday, after months of haggling, the Lafayette County Commission approved the operation of the I-70 Motorsports Park under Kansas City businessman Payne’s ownership. 

Sporting Kansas City made a trade for a familiar face this week in an attempt to reverse their recent struggles before Sunday’s match at D.C. United. But the biggest spark may not come until 16-year old Gianluca Busio rejoins the team.

Former Lee’s Summit High School quarterback Drew Lock is expected to buck a trend in this year’s NFL Draft when it comes to players from the Kansas City area.

Since 2011, three first-round draft picks — Aldon Smith (Raytown), Shane Ray (Bishop Miege) and Charles Harris (Lincoln Prep) — anchored the defensive line at the University of Missouri. But Lock, whose Mizzou career ended at the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31, is expected to be one of multiple quarterbacks taken early.

Updated 5:30 p.m. March 16 to correct headline, characterization of investigation  Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill is involved in an investigation into an alleged assault on a juvenile at his home. 

Blue Valley Northwest graduates Clayton Custer and Ben Richardson helped Loyola Chicago through their bracket-busting run in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament last year.

They also helped revive the Missouri Valley Conference, a mid-major that relies on men’s tournament money, often from a lone team.

Baker University’s play-by-play announcer Tom Hedrick signed off for good after Wednesday’s basketball game between the Baker Wildcats and Mid-America Nazarene in Olathe, Kansas.  

It ended a 62-year career, one that had him announcing everything from the Kansas City Chiefs’ only Super Bowl win to KU basketball to Cincinnati Reds games. But Hedrick is just as well-known as a professor, teaching budding sportscasters about the business.  

Since the 1930s, Missouri and Kansas high school boys wrestlers have gone to the mat to find out who’s the best in their respective states. This year, Missouri added girls’ wrestling to its state championship lineup, only the 12th state to do so.

In the last year, three boys high school basketball coaching stalwarts in and around Kansas City, Missouri — Willie Bowie, Bud Lathrop and William Madison — have died. As holiday tournaments get underway, the coaches’ longevity and success are sure to be remembered, all while the next legends establish themselves.

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