He looks for the heart in athletes. Matt Vautour is a 41 year-old sports writer for the Daily Hampshire Gazette,“I like the stories where you sort of really get to know people.” He stands tall with a strong big build, grips his large ice coffee as he talks in depth about his love for sports.
“I’ve always liked sports and I’ve always liked writing”, Vautour continued on, “but, being a good dad, that’s really important to me also. I want to be a really good dad, and I want to be a really good writer.”
As a parent to a two year old, with special needs, Vautour and his wife, Kerri, work together to care for Joey. “When he was first born, he could not have gone to day care” Vautour says. However he saw this as a bonus, Matt and Kerri set up a ““Joey hand off.” He then described the trade, “its rewarding getting to spend time with him during the day.”
Not only does he cherish his time with his son, but he also cherishes the time he gets to spend with athletes. “Every four years, people graduate and there are fresh new stories every time” he says, “I like the stories where you sort of really get to know people”. He reflected back on a story from over a decade ago; he spoke with a young man, Shannon Crooks, who had recently lost his father.
“After I wrote the story, I would see him through the prism of a 21 year old kid who idolized his dad and is someone who is still trying to make his dad proud even though he wasn’t there.”
Family is not only present in his life now; he attributes his interest in sports writing to his grandfather. When he was younger the sports section was to remain untouched until his grandfather, whom had Alzheimer’s, had read it, at least once. Vautour explains, “There was some sacredness to it.”
From day one of his journalism career at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Vautour has been sports oriented. He started working for The Gazette in August of 1997. He met his wife Kerri, whom was also a sports writer at the time. He rambles on end about different aspects of sports writing and stumbles making sure he doesn’t get quoted for the wrong thing.
“I want to give you something you cant see from just TV or on your computer. I think that as journalism is evolving, those details and those perspectives are so much more important”