Greg Echlin

Sports Reporter

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.

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Sports
4:53 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Remembering Sam Lacey, Part Of Kansas City's First NBA Team

Sam Lacey playing for the Cincinnati Royals in 1971.
Credit Cincinnati Royals / © 1971

At a time when the name "Cinderella" will be tossed around in association with teams pulling upsets in the NCAA tournament this week, Sam Lacey was part of what was the biggest Cinderella story in Kansas City pro-basketball history.

Lacey, who would have turned 66 later this month, died last week in Kansas City. A memorial tribute will take place Thursday night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Loretto on 39th Street.

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Sports
7:43 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Three Kansas Teams Head To St. Louis For 'Arch Madness'

It will be Arch Madness all over the again in St. Louis, Mo., for three Kansas teams in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

The University of Kansas, Kansas State and Wichita State are all bound for St. Louis this weekend, the first weekend of the tournament. When the Kansas Jayhawks lost to Iowa State in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament, coach Bill Self knew the chance of landing a number-one seed in the NCAA tournament was out the window.

“We’re not going to be a one, so I’m going to tell you it’s definitely better since we’re not going to be a one,” said Self.

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Sports
6:55 am
Fri March 14, 2014

NCAA Still Keeps Bracket Selection A Secret

In this age of greater access through social media and TV cameras, sports fans are given a peek of what happens behind the scenes more than ever before. But to get a peek inside the meeting rooms of the NCAA Division I men’s basketball committee is another story. Access before the 68-team bracket is unveiled on Selection Sunday is unlikely anytime soon.

Beauty marks and warts

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Sports
7:28 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Wichita State Shockers Earn Missouri Valley Conference Title

Wichita State added another accomplishment during its current undefeated season in men’s college basketball: The Missouri Valley Conference tournament title.

St. Louis has been the site of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament since 1991. Until Sunday, Wichita State came up short of its bid for a conference tournament title during all those years.

After an 83-69 victory over Indiana State, Shockers coach Gregg Marshall says he’s satisfied the conference tournament title drought is over.

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Sports
8:02 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Sporting KC Kicks Off New Season With A New Goalie

Sporting KC goalie Jimmy Nielsen retired at the end of the 2013 MLS season.
Credit Sporting KC

Sporting Kansas City will begin defense of their championship in Major League Soccer Saturday with a road game at Seattle to open the season.

There will be one noticeable difference in the look of this year’s team. Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, nicknamed "The White Puma" and known for wearing pink, decided to go out on top.

Nielsen announced his retirement shortly after Sporting's 2013 MLS Cup win. He is now coaching in Oklahoma City, Okla. 

Succeeding Nielsen will be Eric Kronberg.

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Sports
8:25 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Despite Improvements, Elite Figure Skating In Kansas City Still A Challenge

Kansas Citians with Olympic dreams often end up training in other states with better facilities.
Credit Rich Moffitt / Flickr--CC

Can Kansas Citians live the Olympic dream? Figure skater John Coughlin came close. The Kansas City native and his partner in ice pairs, Caydee Denney, just missed out on the selection for the Olympic team.

Competing at the elite level of figure skating while training in Kansas City has its challenges. But it’s improving. When the Independence Events Center opened four winters ago, not only the newly established Missouri Mavericks hockey team took off. So did the Heartland Figure Skating Club.

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Sports
9:48 am
Tue February 11, 2014

College Basketball Player Shares Excitement Over Michael Sam Coming Out

Jallen Messersmith is the first openly gay college basketball player in the United States. He attends Benedictine college in Atchison, Kan.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

Before his final football season at the University of Missouri, defensive lineman Michael Sam made the decision to privately tell his teammates that he is gay. On Sunday, Sam went public with it.  And if he is selected in May’s NFL draft, Sam will be pro football’s first openly gay player. The first men’s college basketball player to openly declare he’s gay also plays nearby, but Jallen Messersmith took a slightly different approach.

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Sports
7:03 am
Thu January 16, 2014

$17.5 Million Basketball Dorm To Be Built At KU

The Kansas Board of Regents approved the construction for an apartment building that will serve as the housing for the men’s and women’s basketball players at the University of Kansas. It’s expected to be ready for the 2015-16 school year.

When completed, the $17.5 million apartment building will have 66 bedrooms, enough to mix in some students who don’t play for the Kansas Jayhawks, which is a NCAA requirement. The apartment will have a half-court for recreational basketball.

Funding will be private and through issued revenue bonds.

Sports
6:08 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Jayhawks Lose To San Diego, Breaking Home Nonconference Streak

In college basketball, the Kansas Jayhawks lost 61-57 against San Deigo State, after 68 straight home wins against non-conference opponents.

San Diego State, ranked 21st in the AP poll, knocked off the 16th ranked Jayhawks, at home Sunday afternoon.

The last non-conference team to beat the Kansas Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse was Oral Roberts in November of 2006, the early stage of a season during which KU ended up only one victory shy of reaching the Final Four.

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Sports
7:56 am
Fri January 3, 2014

In This Type Of Playoff Game, History Doesn't Favor The Chiefs

The last three times the Chiefs have met the Colts in the playoffs, things haven't turned out so good.
Credit KC Chiefs

History doesn’t favor the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL playoffs when they’re matched against the Indianapolis Colts. But the Chiefs hope to turn that around Saturday afternoon when they kick off in Indianapolis, Ind.

The first playoff game between the Chiefs and the Colts on a frigid afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium in 1995 ended with a missed field goal under coach Marty Schottenheimer. Chiefs placekicker, Lin Elliott, missed three field goal attempts that day.

In January, 2004, at Arrowhead again but under Coach Dick Vermeil, the Colts outslugged the Chiefs, 38-31.

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Sports
8:27 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Northwest Missouri State Goes Undefeated, Clinches Fourth National Championship

Northwest Missouri coach, Adam Dorrel with the national championship trophy.
Credit Ian Echlin

Northwest Missouri State put the finishing touches on a 15-0 season over the weekend. The Bearcats from Maryville, Mo., captured their fourth national championship in NCAA Division II football with a 45-28 win over Lenoir-Rhyne from North Carolina.

Billy Creason, a Northwest Missouri State senior running back from Grain Valley said it was a memorable moment.

“To go out undefeated is just amazing. It doesn’t happen very often,” said Creason. “A great senior year and I’m glad I’m glad we made it to the top. Man it’s awesome.”

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Sports
6:34 am
Fri December 20, 2013

As Northwest Missouri Heads To Division II Championship, Kansas City Takes Notes

Bearcat fans cheer on their team at Arrowhead stadium.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

Saturday morning, Northwest Missouri will play in the NCAA Division II football national championship game in Florence, Ala. A Kansas City delegation is in attendance, and not just to cheer on the Bearcats. They’re taking notes because next year the championship game moves to Kansas City.

How did Kansas City land the championship for next year? The answer may surprise you.

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Sports
7:53 am
Thu December 12, 2013

NCAA Championships Heading to Kansas City

Kansas City led the way in cities awarded future men's and women's NCAA championships.

Of the 14 NCAA men's and women's championships awarded to Kansas City, 13 are scheduled for soccer venues built within the last three years - either at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., or the new Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Mo.

The most significant announcement centers around the Division II football championship. It will be played at Sporting Park, starting next year and running through 2017.

Sports
6:53 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Two Days After MLS Cup Win, Sporting Kansas City Goalie Announces Retirement

Two days after helping his team win the MLS Cup, Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper and team captain, Jimmy Nielsen, announced he'll retire from soccer.  

After the MLS Cup was one Saturday night, goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen said the last thing anyone would want is to have come out of a final like the MLS Cup thinking they could've tried harder.

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Sports
7:49 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Sporting KC Fans Invited To Union Station To Celebrate MLS Championship

Sporting KC fans in the Cauldron section of Sporting Park.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

A celebration of Sporting Kansas City’s Major League Soccer championship victory is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday in the Union Station area of Kansas City, Mo.

Sporting won the MLS Cup Saturday night after ten rounds of penalty kicks. The final score was 7-6, against Real Salt Lake.

The win is the first championship since 2000. Back then, two current starters followed the team to Washington D.C., for the match as native Kansas City fans when the team was known as the Kansas City Wizards.

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Sports
8:16 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Despite Frigid Forecast, The MLS Cup Must Go On

Sporting Kansas City will play Real Salt Lake Saturday in the MLS Cup at Sporting Park.
Credit Brian Davidson

Major League Soccer’s championship, the MLS Cup, will be played Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. between Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.

The match, set for the latest date in the 18-year history of the league, is also expected to be the coldest championship in league history. But, are temperatures in the 20s under these wintry conditions seem appropriate for an outdoor soccer game?

"That’s not what I think of as soccer conditions," says Sporting Kansas City season ticket holder Jessie Williams. 

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Sports
8:00 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Chiefs Face Uphill Battle, Starting With The Broncos

Credit Justin Morbeck/ Flickr-CC

In Kansas City, 1969 is remembered as the Chiefs’ last Super Bowl season. It’s also the last time when two stalwarts, one undefeated and the other with only one loss, butted heads this late in the season. The Minnesota Vikings were 10-and-1 when they squared off against the unbeaten Los Angeles Rams.

Sunday night’s game between the Chiefs and the Denver Broncos pits the league’s best defense against the most prolific offense. Taking the rivalry between the two teams to a different level.

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Sports
8:12 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Chiefs Hold On To Undefeated Record, Barely

The Kansas City Chiefs celebrated their seventh win at Arrowhead stadium Sunday.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

A loss by the Denver Broncos Sunday night leaves the Kansas City Chiefs as the NFL’s only undefeated team. But, the Chiefs had a difficult time securing their seventh straight win.

From the outset, everything seemed to favor the Chiefs: a home game at Arrowhead Stadium a week after setting a Guinness Book world record for the loudest outdoor stadium and an opponent that named a rookie quarterback making his first NFL start. But the Chiefs, rejuvenated by Alex Smith — a quarterback with a fresh start this season in Kansas City — grabbed the lead for good on his five-yard run.

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Sports
6:09 am
Fri October 18, 2013

The Future Is Uncertain For College Games At Arrowhead

Northwest Missouri State plays Pitt State at Arrowhead stadium in 2012.
Credit Darren Whitley / Northwest Missouri State

The second of two college football games at Arrowhead Stadium this season takes place Saturday. Northwest Missouri and Pittsburg State, two powerhouse NCAA Division II teams with undefeated records, will meet head-to-head. But the future is uncertain for this and other major college games being played at Arrowhead.

There have been no major college games at Arrowhead the last three seasons. That’s since the University of Missouri announced it would be departing for the Southeastern Conference and the University Kansas announced they would refuse to play Mizzou.

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Community
3:33 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Chiefs Execs, Players Distribute Meals For Low-Income Families

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson helped distribute meals Tuesday to area hunger agencies at Arrowhead Stadium.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

Kansas City Chiefs executives and players distributed frozen dinners Tuesday at Arrowhead Stadium to agencies representing low-income families.

The Chiefs are celebrating their 10-year partnership with Tyson Foods and the Lift-Up America organization. 

"Twenty-five thousand families will be blessed with a meal as a result of the giveaway," said chairman of the board, Clark Hunt, who spearheaded the program 10 years ago.

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Sports
8:15 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Chiefs Keep Undefeated Record, Fans Win Guinness Record

The crowd at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday broke the record for loudest roar at 137.5 decibels.
Credit Elana Gordon / KCUR

Through six games, the NFL is down to two undefeated teams, and the Kansas City Chiefs are one of them.

After their 24-7 victory over the Oakland Raiders, the Chiefs are tied for first in the AFC West with the NFL’s only other undefeted team, the Denver Broncos.

Arrowhead Stadium also had another milestone moment during Sunday's game.

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Sports
7:56 am
Wed October 9, 2013

In Second Year As Part Of SEC, Mizzou Looks For Rivals And Brings In Wins

The Southeastern Conference logo at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tenn.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

The Kansas City Chiefs aren’t the only area football team with a 5-0 record. On the major college level, the Missouri Tigers are 5-0 and ranked number 25 in this week’s Associated Press poll.

The Tigers opened their Southeastern Conference schedule last Saturday with a victory over Vanderbilt University. The Tigers head deeper south this weekend to face the 7th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs. It’s still an adjustment period for fans following the Tigers in their second year of the SEC.

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Sports
8:16 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Cheating Scandal Follows NASCAR To Kansas City Race

Clint Bowyer's car at Kansas Speedway April 2013.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

NASCAR’s Sprint Cup drivers are still trying to shake off the “cheating” label that has shrouded the sport  over the last month. They’ll be at Kansas Speedway for the year’s biggest entertainment weekend in Wyandotte County.

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Sports
8:26 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Chiefs Fans Are Pumped About Record, Disgruntled About Traffic

The Kansas City Chiefs are 3-0 so far this season, and with that kind of record comes more attention and fan interest. As a result, the Chiefs are dealing with ancillary issues as they prepare for Sunday’s home game at Arrowhead Stadium against the New York Giants.

In the preseason, some Kansas City Chiefs employees feverishly worked behind the scenes on a separate issue: traffic and parking. But, it may not have been enough.

"Operationally, we had some significant missteps," says Chiefs president Mark Donovan, who suggests fans leave early to avoid traffic gridlock.

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Sports
9:17 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Royals Walk-off Grand Slam Seals Winning Season

In pursuit of post-season play, the Kanas City Royals revived interest September baseball.  For the final home game at Kauffman Stadium a crowd of more than 27,000 gathered. Manager Ned Yost sensed the enthusiasm.

“We needed to get the crowd into the game early, and we couldn’t do it,” said Yost.

Then the Royals loaded the bases in the tenth inning of the scoreless ballgame when Justin Maxwell stepped to the plate.

“I was just thinking of trying to hit it hard,” said Maxwell.

There was no doubt when Maxwell hit it. It was a grand slam.

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Sports
7:39 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Royals Hold On To Post-Season Hopes

Heading into late September, the Kansas City Royals are holding on to their hopes of reaching baseball’s playoffs for the first time since their World Series championship in 1985. A late season surge reversed a downward spiral at the All-Star break.

A rocky start to the season  

This spring the Kansas City Royals tied a franchise record set only one year earlier for 11 straight losses at home. Manager Ned Yost seemed at a loss about what to do next.

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Sports
9:26 am
Mon September 16, 2013

With Two Wins Already, Chiefs Are Looking Good

The Kansas City Chiefs are now 2-0 in the young NFL season after a 17-16 win over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday in the home opener.

Only two weeks into the 2013 season, the Chief's record is equal to last year's entire victory total. They grabbed the lead for good late in the third quarter, and the fans at Arrowhead Stadium sniffed a chance to bask in the Chiefs' second win of the season under new head coach Andy Reid.

"When our fans are going, you can feel that field," said Reid. "It just rumbles a little bit. It's crazy but an awesome feeling."

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Sports
7:54 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Chiefs Players, Fans 'Hungry' For Success

The Kansas City Chiefs start their 2013-14 regular season this week in Florida.
Credit Mike Morbeck / Flickr--Creative Commons

The Kansas City Chiefs open the 2013 NFL season with a road game Sunday in Jacksonville, Fla. With general manager and coaching changes this year, hopes are not just resting on a reversal from last year’s 2-14 record. It’s more about ending a drought that has now lasted 20 years.

Ironically, at the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week for the Kansas City Chiefs everyone there enjoyed a full plate, while eight-year veteran linebacker Derrick Johnson shared with the event’s emcee, Mitch Holthus, a rather desperate feeling.

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Sports
8:02 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Sports Car Racing To Start On New 'Roaval' Track At Kansas Speedway

Jordan Taylor will experience racing the new course in his Corvette.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

The new road course constructed within the oval at Kansas Speedway will be the site of sports car competition for the first time this weekend. Pricier models such as Porches, Ferraris and BMWs are more associated with this group of drivers compared to the more common Chevy, Ford and Toyotas on the NASCAR circuit.

And, the brand of cars isn’t the only thing different about sports car racing.

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Sports
7:52 am
Mon August 5, 2013

KU Grad, Raytown Native Win Major Golf Championships

A golf rarity took place Sunday when two professionals with ties to the area won separate tournaments, and combined for more than $800,000 in prize money along the way.

Gary Woodland is a Topeka, Kan. native who played golf at KU. He won a PGA Tour event in Nevada and collected $540,000.

Earlier in the day, Tom Pernice Jr. earned more than $262,000 for a Champions Tour win among the 50-and-older pros.

With four top-5 finishes in the first five Champions Tour events Tom Pernice Jr. played this season, he said in late May he felt close to winning again.

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