Art Thiel

Sports Commentator

Art Thiel is a co-founder and writer for the rising sports website Sportspress Northwest. In 2003 Thiel wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field,”  which became a regional bestseller. In 2009, along with Steve Rudman and KJR 950 afternoon host Mike Gastineau, Thiel authored “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists,” a cross between historylink.org and Mad Magazine that has become mandatory reading for any sports fan who has an indoor bathroom.

A graduate of Pacific Lutheran University as well as two dead papers and a live one, the News Tribune of Tacoma, he has become a fan of entrepreneurial online journalism because it allows him to continue a lifelong passion to take the English language to places it rarely visits willingly, and does not involve the cleaning of kennels or stables.

Kirsten Kendrick's Q. & A. with Thiel can be heard every Friday during M.E. at 5:35am and 7:35am and again that same day on ATC at 4:45pm. It also airs Saturday at 6:35am and 9:35am.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Will UW football changes be enough for a challenging 2012?

Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III is pursued by Washington's Josh Shirley during the Alamo Bowl Thurs., Dec. 29, 2011. The Husky defense gave up 67 points in the game. It was the final straw that led to the firing of defensive coordinator Nick Holt.
Darren Abate AP Photo

After an embarrassing 67-56 loss to Baylor in the Alamo Bowl, the Washington Huskies have made big changes to their defensive coaching staff. Defensive coordinator Nick Holt was fired, along with the team's linebackers and safeties coaches.

Two coaches with ties to the Northwest were hired from Tennessee. But will it be enough to help the Huskies face what promises to be a very tough schedule in 2012?

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Sports with Art Thiel
12:00 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Preview: UW starts new year with new defensive staff

A scoreboard shows final of the Alamo Bowl game between Baylor and Washington. Baylor pulled out a thrilling victory in the highest-scoring bowl game in history. Not long after the game, UW overhauled its defensive coaching staff.
Darren Abate AP Photo

Being part of the highest-scoring bowl game in history was hardly a distinction for University of Washington defensive coordinator Nick Holt. 

The 67-56 loss to Baylor in the Alamo Bowl was the last in a series of defensive flops that cost him his job.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu December 29, 2011

Highs and lows in sports for 2011

Leaderless in Seattle: Sounders FC goalkeeper Kasey Keller takes a lap around the pitch on Oct. 15, 2011, in his final regular season game before retiring.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

There were some bright spots in the local sports scene in 2011. But not many. Find out what KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel named as the high points and low points of the year.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Thiel: Spread against UW vs. Baylor in Alamo Bowl should be wider

'Washington's worst nightmare.' That's how Art Thiel describes Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. He won this year's Heisman Trophy and leads the best offense in the country.
Tony Gutierrez AP Photo

The Washington Huskies travel to San Antonio Friday in preparation for the Alamo Bowl next week. They play Baylor on Thursday, Dec. 29.

Baylor is favored by nine points. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel thinks the spread should be much more than that.

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Sports with Art Thiel
12:00 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Preview: UW faces Heisman winner, tough team in Alamo Bowl

University of Washington Alumni Association

The Washington Huskies will spend the holiday preparing for their second bowl game in two years. They face the Baylor Bears in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Offensive change, hard-charging Lynch spur Seahawks' streak

'Beast mode': Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch evades the St. Louis Rams defense during Monday night's 30-13 rout in Seattle. Lynch is on a roll that could land the Seahawks in the playoffs for the second straight year.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

They started the season 2-6. But a big change in offense and the explosive play of running back Marshawn Lynch have the Seahawks looking at a possible playoff berth.

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Sports with Art Thiel
12:00 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Preview: The Hawks' late rise

Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson greets teammate Doug Baldwin after Baldwin scored a touchdown Monday night in Seattle. The Seahawks defeated the Rams 30-13.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

The Seahawks' late-season winning streak is keeping their hopes alive for making the playoffs. A lot of things have to happen first, but there's a sliver of hope they'll make it to the post-season for the second year in a row.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Pujols signing pressures Mariners to make big move

The Mariners' division rivals, the Angels, made a big move this week. They signed free agent slugger Albert Pujols from the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals to a 10-year contract worth more than $250 million.

There's another big-hitting free agent who's still available: Prince Fielder. The Mariners are among the teams interested in him. But can they pull it off?

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Sports with Art Thiel
11:48 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Preview: Angels sign Pujols, up ante for Mariners

"It makes it that much more difficult for everybody in our division."

The words of Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik, reacting to news today that the division-rival Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have signed star free agent Albert Pujols. The Seattle Times reports the Angels signed Pujols to a 10-year contract worth a reported $250 million.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

New WSU coach Mike Leach brilliant but controversial

Mike Leach celebrates after Texas Tech beat Minnesota 44-41 in overtime in the Insight Bowl in 2006. Leach took the Red Raiders to a bowl game in each of his 10 years there. WSU officials hope he'll bring his winning ways to Pullman.
Ross D. Franklin AP Photo

He coached Texas Tech to 10 bowl games in 10 years. That's the winning record that Mike Leach brings to Washington State University as the new head football coach.

But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says he also comes with controversy.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 am
Thu December 1, 2011

Preview: The new man in charge of WSU football

New WSU football leader Mike Leach will bring his special brand of coaching to Pullman. He formerly coached at Texas Tech. He's pictured here in a game against Texas in 2007.
Eric Gay AP Photo

Just a day after firing Paul Wulff, who had the job for four years, Washington State University has hired Mike Leach to be its new head football coach.

Leach is the former coach of Texas Tech University. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says he's an offensive wizard who's had his share of controversy.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu November 24, 2011

Pride, possible coaching jobs on the line in Apple Cup

Washington players celebrate with the Apple Cup trophy after they defeated Washington State 35-28 last year in Pullman.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

It's Apple Cup time again! The annual cross-state rivalry game between the University of Washington and Washington State University will be played at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says there's not much at stake for the players beyond bragging rights. But for two coaches, it's a different story.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Huskies under more pressure than usual to beat Oregon State

Last week's 40-17 loss to USC was the third loss in four games for the Huskies. UW backup quarterback Nick Montana filled in for an injured Keith Price and will get his first start this Saturday against OSU.
Christine Cotter AP Photo

After a 5-1 start, the Washington Huskies are now 6-4 heading into Saturday's game against Oregon State.

OSU is 2-8. But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says that appears to be little comfort to the Huskies and their fans, who are more apprehensive than normal about this game.

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Sports with Art Thiel
12:54 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Preview: UW will try to stop losing slide, likely with backup QB

UW backup quarterback Nick Montana completes a 53-yard pass against Oregon on Nov. 5, 2011, in Seattle. Oregon beat Washington 34-17. The pass was Montana's only play in the game. But he could get his first career start this Saturday.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

After a promising start, the Washington Huskies have lost three of their last four games. And now it looks like they've lost their starting quarterback to a sprained knee. Keith Price was injured in last weekend's loss to USC.

It's not official yet, but it looks like freshman backup quarterback Nick Montana will get his first career start on Saturday against Oregon State.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Penn State scandal is wakeup call for big change in college sports

Alone on field for main Penn State coach Joe Paterno looks on during football practice on Wednesday.
Associated Press

The firing of Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno following criminal charges of child sex abuse against one of his former assistant coaches, Jerry Sandusky, has been the subject of innumerable news stories and conversations.

The 84-year-old Paterno has more wins than any other coach in college football history, but he will leave the university with his reputation destroyed for not taking serious action after receiving knowledge of these alleged crimes.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says there is no question that Paterno deserved to lose his job.

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