Michael Kruse, Times Staff Writer

Michael Kruse

Michael Kruse, winner of the Paul Hansell Award for Distinguished Achievement in Florida Journalism and the American Society of News Editors' distinguished nondeadline writing award, is a staff writer on the enterprise team at the Tampa Bay Times. His three-part series in 2013, The Last Voyage of the Bounty, won a Green Eyeshade Award and a Gold Medal from the Florida Society of News Editors and was a finalist for ASNE's Punch Sulzberger Award for Online Storytelling, and his story about a woman who disappeared inside her home was anthologized in Next Wave: America's New Generation of Great Literary Journalists. In 2012 he gave a TEDx talk on the importance of story. His work has been recognized, too, by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society for Features Journalism, the Associated Press Sports Editors, the National Headliner Awards and the Magazine Association of the Southeast, and in categories ranging from sports explanatory to business reporting, from short features to long profiles. Before the Times, he worked at the Times Herald-Record in New York's Hudson Valley, where he covered two towns and Major League Baseball and was the paper's writer at large. He is the author of Taking the Shot: The Davidson Basketball Moment and has written for Grantland, ESPN.com, Yahoo! Sports and Outside, Our State, Charlotte, Parade and Men's Health magazines, and Harvard's Nieman Storyboard. Kruse, 36, was born outside Los Angeles and raised outside Boston and is a graduate of Davidson College in North Carolina. He lives in St. Petersburg with his family.

Phone: (727) 893-8751

Email: mkruse@tampabay.com

Twitter: @MichaelKruse

  1. USF wanted to be like UF and FSU


    No "major" football school in America has had a steeper decline in student attendance over the last five years than USF. After I posted that the other day, I heard on Facebook from Michael Sokolove, who way back in 2002 wrote a piece for the New York Times Magazine called Football Is A Sucker's Game. What struck me reading it is how much it's somehow simultaneously dated, prescient and evergreen....

  2. '... the most expensive leather in the world ...'


    Chad Gillis from the Fort Myers paper:

    LABELLE — Thousands of hunters are plying Florida waters every night this time of year, searching the swamps for a prize alligator to take during the state's annual 11-week public hunt.

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission issued nearly 6,000 permits to the public this year, with each permit allowing a hunter to take two alligators from an assigned waterway. Private hunts on farms and managed lands occur year-round, but between now and Nov. 1 the public gets its chance at gator glory....

    Folks say their blood holds a certain smell on your hands.
  3. Rick Scott hates Charlie Crist and Charlie Crist hates Rick Scott


    What Scott says:

    "Charlie ran the state into the ground. It's Barack Obama in Florida. Barack Obama thinks money grows on trees. Charlie Crist thinks the same way."

    What Crist says:...

  4. The State of Working Florida 2014 in one paragraph


    Put this one in the "rich get richer" category, Jeff Harrington wrote in the paper this weekend. I asked him to send me the annual dispiriting Labor Day report from Florida International University. I read it, and here's the main thing I underlined, which is more evidence that Florida's just like America, only more so:...

  5. Today's letter to the editor from the president of the J.C. Newman cigar company in Ybor City


    Eric M. Newman:

    On behalf of our 130 employees and the entire "Cigar City" of Tampa, I want to thank the Tampa Bay Times for covering our struggle to prevent the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from regulating Tampa's last operating cigar factory out of business....

    J.C. Newman Cigar Co.
  6. David A. Dorsey's Fourth Down in Dunbar


    Something I underlined in what I've read so far of Dorsey's forthcoming book from University Press of Florida:

    Before Fort Myers was established in 1886 with a population of fewer than five hundred, its most famous part-time resident and most prominent snowbird, Thomas Edison, bought property there in 1885. Until his death in 1931, Edison spent his winter months on a Fort Myers estate along the banks of the Caloosahatchee River. Marks of his unfluence remain throughout the area. A statue of him and his winter neighbors, automobile icon Henry Ford and tire titan Harvey Firestone, sits in the middle of Centennial Park in the Fort Myers River District. Edison's last name adorns the football stadium at Fort Myers High School and a street that cuts through the black community. The intersection of Edison Avenue and Ford Street lies not quite a mile south of the original Dunbar High School. Few whites ventured there ......

  7. Florida's coming killing spree


    An editorial from the Palm Beach Post from the other day:

    The list of Florida inmates living on death row is 393 names long.

    It's about to grow shorter. Much shorter.

    Florida's Supreme Court this summer found constitutional the state's Timely Justice Act, signed by Gov. Rick Scott in 2013....

  8. Did you read Lane DeGregory's story on the front of yesterday's paper?


    If you didn't, here:

    TAMPA — He got the letter in July, at his mom's house in Seminole. She never would have believed it. Not after everything that had happened. Dakota Rockwell, 20, had applied to the University of South Florida as a long shot, hoping — but never dreaming — he would be accepted. Then the admissions office emailed. He could start in August, in the business school....

    Dakota Rockwell.
  9. 11 things that happened in August that would've been called SO FLORIDA had they happened in Florida


    I did it for January, and I did it for February, and I did it for March, and I did it for April, and I did it for May, and I did it for June, and I did it for July, so now I'll do it for August....

  10. There's no cemetery in The Villages


    Be sure to read Alex French on BuzzFeed:

    Seventy miles northwest of Orlando International Airport, amid the sprawling, flat central Florida nothingness — past all of those billboards for Jesus and unborn fetuses and boiled peanuts and gator meat — springs up a town called Wildwood. Storefront churches. O'Shucks Oyster Bar. Family Dollar. Nordic Gun & Pawn. A community center with a playground overgrown by weeds. Vast swaths of tree-dotted pastureland. This area used to be the very center of Florida's now fast-disappearing cattle industry. The houses are low-slung, pale stucco. One has a weight bench in the yard. There's a rail yard crowded with static freight trains. The owners of a dingy single-wide proudly fly the stars and bars....

    America's fastest-growing metropolitan area.
  11. It's an outrage that Pancho the crocodile of Coral Gables is dead


    The news today from near Miami:

    Pancho — a 12-foot, 300-pound American crocodile that has made its home in the backyard waters of the exclusive Gables by the Sea community — is dead.

    The croc died while fighting his capture early Friday morning, authorities said....

  12. The 'viral' Dunedin lemonade stand story started the way all 'viral' stories start


    Keyonna Summers put the story in last Sunday's Times pitting the neo-Rockwellian T.J. Guerrero against the grouchy Doug Wilkey. This morning's follow almost couldn't have been better. This thing is everywhere -- Gawker, NPR, CNN, the Huffington Post, the Washington Post, ABC News, Fox News Latino, MTV.com -- because now that's just how this stuff goes....

    Kiddie capitalism and the ways of the world.
  13. No 'major' football school in America has had a steeper decline in student attendance over the last five years than USF


    It feels like football's never been bigger. Certainly the NFL. Also college football. Tons of people waste giant chunks of their weeks this time of year watching it. Sorry. I'm just playing party pooper. We're inherently irrational animals and that's just the way it is and maybe even that's okay....

    USF's football coach and not so much of a crowd.
  14. Florida's newest institution of higher education has a library with no books


    Accreditation isn't the only thing Florida Poly doesn't have.

    The library at the STEM-centric school in Lakeland features a sunlit arched roof and cozy reading chairs -- but not a single book, former Times reporter Letitia Stein wrote for Reuters....

    The MIT of Orlampa.
  15. There are THREE articles in my paper this morning about St. Pete and its trouble with race


    1. Kameel Stanley on 1B: A string of city workers, union officials and community members went before the City Council on Thursday to demand that the city do something about racial tension within its workforce.

    "We have real issues here," said Robin Wynn, a stormwater worker who recently filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against the city for what she calls discriminatory treatment. "This city promotes institutional racism."...