Greg Echlin | KCUR

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, Greg worked as a TV sports anchor and a radio sportscaster in Salina, Kansas. He moved to Kansas City in 1984 and has been here 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.

Ways to Connect

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

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.

John Cheng

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. 

Eaker looks back at the experience as a useful tool for this year’s competition, especially “being able to get used to going for that long (trip) away from home (and) also training with the gymnasts there in Doha.”

Sporting KC

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. 

Greg Echline / KCUR

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. 

Meg Williams / San Francisco 49ers

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.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

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.

Ricardo Bufolin

Three women gymnasts from the Kansas City area — Leanne Wong, Kara Eaker and Aleah Finnegan — have a shot at making the United States' Olympic team when the USA Gymnastics national championships get underway at the Sprint Center on Thursday.

None of the three is scheduled to graduate from high school until 2021.

Alex Smith/BB&T Atlanta Open

Jack Sock is back on his singles game, looking to rekindle a career that peaked in 2017 with a No. 8 world ranking, then sliding to 9-22 in 2018. 

Blythe Dorian / Kansas City T-Bones

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.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3 file photo

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.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

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.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

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 KC

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.

Mizzou Athletics

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.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3 file photo

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. 

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

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.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

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.  

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

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.

BigStock Images

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.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

No matter how many different puzzle pieces fit together to make the Kansas City Chiefs a success this season, the perception is that it’s The Patrick Mahomes Show.

The starting quarterback has capitalized on not only being surrounded by high-level skill players, but also a marketing team that has positioned Mahomes to make good money — and for more than just himself.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Thirty years ago, I attended the Nov. 30, 1988, news conference where then-Kansas State athletic director Steve Miller introduced Bill Snyder. At the time, no one envisioned a football coaching career that would ultimately place Snyder in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Perhaps there’d be modest success that Vince Gibson and Jim Dickey enjoyed during their respective tenures with the Wildcats? Sure, that couldn’t be ruled out. But no coach dating back to the first year of the program in 1896 could sustain any degree of consistent success, and Snyder’s first season was difficult, a 1-10 record. That — and K-State football — changed.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3 file photo

The Kansas City Chiefs fired star running back Kareem Hunt on Friday night after TMZ published a closed-captioned video earlier in the day of an offseason assault against a woman in a Cleveland hotel in February.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

Updated 10:53 p.m. Nov. 29 with match result — With the 3-2 loss to the Portland Timbers Thursday night, Sporting Kansas City lost its chance to play in the Major League Soccer championship.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

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.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

With Wednesday’s hiring of Brandon Martin as new athletic director, UMKC completed its self-assessment with where it wants to be moving forward: committed to the Western Athletic Conference.

“We have been Division I and intend to stay Division I,” UMKC chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal said, referring to the top division of NCAA athletics.

Ian Echlin / For KCUR 89.3

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.”

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

Sunday’s NASCAR race will cap the busiest weekend of the year at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. It’s a market that’s a bright spot for a sport on a downward slope nationally.

Erica Hunzinger / KCUR 89.3

Despite the second-to-worst season in Kansas City Royals’ history (58-104), manager Ned Yost wants to stick around for at least one more year.

And he’ll do just that, agreeing to a one-year extension Sunday for an undisclosed amount to manage in 2019. 

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

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.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3 file photo

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.

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