July 27, 1967 – November 22, 2020
Matthew Ray Newbery, 53, of Pittsburg, Kansas, passed away on Nov. 22, 2020, at University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas.
He was born on July 27, 1967, to John and Linda (Caruthers) Newbery in Pittsburg, Kansas.
Matt attended Pittsburg schools and graduated from Pittsburg High School in 1985. After high school, he attended Pittsburg State University and graduated in 1990 with a bachelor of arts degree in communication and a minor in coaching. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.
Matt worked five years for the Pittsburg Morning Sun, first as a sports writer and finally as assistant sports editor from 1989-90. He served five years, 1990-94, as assistant sports information director at PSU before becoming the full-time sports information director for the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA). Matt served as the MIAA SID for 15 years from 1994 to 2009. He played an integral role in expanding and promoting the MIAA brand and in helping administer MIAA championships. The MIAA and Pittsburg State Athletics websites display a feature article about Matt’s contributions to the league.
After his time with the MIAA, Matt joined the staff at the Southeast Kansas Independent Living Resource Center as Sports Director at KSEK Radio from 2010 to 2015. Matt was the voice of the Fort Scott Community College Greyhounds and later the Labette Community College Cardinals. During his time with SKIL, Matt became a local advocate for people with disabilities. He helped promote independence and self-sufficiency through mainstream jobs.
Most recently, Matt worked at KOAM-TV as the master control supervisor and publications specialist. He was the driving force behind the station’s annual “Pigskin Preview” and was a leader in launching the station’s “Full Court Press” basketball publication in 2018. KOAM ran a memorial segment this week to honor Matt’s memory.
Matt’s knowledge of sports and statistics was encyclopedic. He was an expert at sports trivia. He was an avid fan of the Canadian Football League, the National Hockey League and all minor league sports. He was a lifelong, die-hard fan of the Chicago White Sox. Matt demonstrated his good humor by showing off his collection of hats emblazoned with peculiar team logos from around the world — the more obscure, the better. He was part historian and part sentimentalist. He collected and kept newspaper clippings, sports information guides and other sports memorabilia because he appreciated something one of his colleagues had designed or written or because one of his student-athletes was recognized for an accomplishment, large or small.
Matt worked as a youth sports official and coach in Crawford County. His voice was often recognizable as the public address announcer for Dragon football, American Legion Post 64 baseball, and over the airwaves as a play-by-play announcer for high school and college competitions across the Four States. Matt was a co-organizer of the annual PHS Booster Club Golf Tournament. Matt enjoyed collecting baseball cards and each year he would produce a set of Topps-style baseball trading cards for the athletes and coaches on the Post 64 baseball team.
Some of Matt’s closest friends are journalists, broadcasters, story tellers, newspaper editors, and members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Matt was highly decorated for his craft by his peers at CoSIDA. Also among his closest friends were the athletes he worked with while at Pittsburg State, many of them athletes from the Gorilla women’s softball team. Matt was a native son of Kansas, a most recognizable contributor to Pittsburg’s organized athletics and an optimistic advocate for the success of the underdog.
He is survived by his mother, Linda Newbery, and her companion, Donald Hubbard, of Pittsburg; his father, John Newbery and his wife, Nancy, of Pittsburg; and a brother, Keith Newbery and his wife, Amy, of Topeka, Kansas.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Adam Newbery.
A private graveside service will be held at a later date in the Mt. Olive Cemetery in Pittsburg. Memorial donations can be made to the USD 250 Foundation for a scholarship in Matt’s honor. You may give online at https://www.usd250foundation.org/where-to-give or they may be left at, or mailed to, Brenner Mortuary, 114 E. Fourth St., Pittsburg, KS 66762. Arrangements are under the direction of the Brenner Mortuary.