Dubs: Leads with what's your name?
KK: Kevin K. (the only reason I am holding back my last name is I am afraid of my wife finding this. While I not afraid of her, the other half of Bama12 would be in danger if this turned up somewhere.)

Dubs: Well that was significantly cryptic. Perhaps you could explain your relationship with Jeff better so that the rest of us don't have to wait for the X-Files episode.
KK: Jmason and I grew up together. Our mom's were our Cub Scout leaders, and we may have been the only troop in history to not have earned a single badge. All we did was play football and eat snacks. After college we both moved back home, and then both ended up in Atlanta. In both places we seemed to get into a fair amount of trouble together. Had we not met our wives it is very likely we would both be on a curb somewhere drinking a bottle from a brown paper sack. Jeff also introduced me to GD. My wife blames him for "ruining her life" as a result of my addiction. She is not a fan of GD to say the least, and I have fun playing up Jeff's role as the enabler.

Dubs: Ah... my wife's view is that at least I am not at some bar playing trivia. Have you thought of whoring it around a bit so that GD looks good by comparison?
KK: I've tried, but I always get the "what's the old guy doing here" look from the college girls. I tell my wife I could be doing that. However, she then gives me the bit about do I want to compare myself to married men in bars or good husbands and fathers that actually enjoy spending quality time with their family. I tried one time to use that I only look at GD when the kids are asleep, but then comes the great father, sorry husband bit. The let's blame Jeff works the best.

Dubs: While I feel the need to lecture your wife on marriage, I am sure I am only getting your side of this story, so onward we move... this wife of which you speak, how long perse since you took vows and how many kids have come of this union?
KK: I may enlist your services to speak with her at a later date because I could use the support. I do get more than my fair share of grief for the time I spend on GD, but I have never met anyone who felt I did not get the better end of this deal. We will celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary next month in Jamaica, and we have 2 wonderful kids. Our son just turned 6, and is about to begin his 5th t-ball season. He did not start at 1, but has played year-round since he was 4. He is on the swim team, and is taking lessons at our neighborhood tennis academy. I try my hardest not to be "one of those" dads, but in his 1st ever swim meet last week he took home a 2nd place ribbon. I am very proud of him, but I still need to understand better how he got 2nd place to the little bed-wetter that won 1st. Our daughter is 3 years old. She is not only beautiful, but the happiest child you will ever met. We just finished her 1st soccer season. My proudest moment was not her first goal. Instead, I am proudest of seeing her get up and continue playing after a boy twice her size face planted her from behind. Well, that and also watching her track him down on the other side of the field to get in his face and give him a little shove. Ah, the joys of being a parent.

Dubs: Shouldn't it be the responsibility of the 6-year old to take that boy out later?
KK: He was at a t-ball game at the time, but my 3-year old daughter is tougher than he is.

Dubs: What are your favorite sports?
KK: The old sayings are true about being born an Alabama football fan, and as such that always has been and will be #1. I grew up playing all sports, but I was too short and slow to play basketball and football in high school. So I played high school baseball, and until the '94 strike season it was my favorite pro sport. Between the strike and my addiction to Fantasy Football, the NFL has passed MLB for me. So now it is Alabama Football, then the NFL, and then baseball. In terms of what I play, I will have to say golf, then softball, and I have just taken up tennis. Like several others who have been interviewed here, I fashion myself on being a pretty decent poker player if you consider it a sport.

Dubs: If that's really the case, then what are my hole cards right now?
KK: I would have taken you for more of the type that has a few sets of loaded dice versus leaving anything to chance. So as a betting man I would say if you had any cards at all you would be holding all 52.

Dubs: Sorry the correct answer was a Green Reverse and Queen Frostine card from Candyland. How often do you play poker?
KK: That was my next guess. Sadly, speaking of Candyland I actually play it more often than I play poker. We play the Dora Candyland version around these parts, and I try to hide the Abuela's Ice Cream card in case I fall behind. I do have a regular poker game every other Thursday night, and I play in a little tournament every couple of months.

Dubs: So we see which of us really has the loaded dice and all 52 cards. How did you discover whatifsports?
KK: It was Jeff (jmason), he told me about this game that you could coach your own team and you did the gameplanning and could even recruit your own players. He was at Baldwin-Wallace in Camp, and his brother Brian was at Cortland in the NJAC. I told them to let me know when an opening came up in one of their conferences and a few weeks later Brian emailed me that a team was open in the NJAC. I took Wesley who was coming off 2 straight 0 win seasons. I won 2 the first year, and 5 the second and thought I was ready for the big time.

Dubs: Speaking of Elite, have you sent a letter of apology to vzone for Guilford yet lol?
KK: There are not many coaches out there who would not have to write that letter. All vzone did was win 125 Conference games in a row, 11 - CCs in a row, and 4 NC's. I will say that my goal there was to make sure I did not ruin his success. I did not accomplish my goal to win a NC, but I was able to win all 45 Conference games in a row, all 5 CC's in a row, and walk away with a 75-7 record with 2 final four appearances. The worst recruiting class I had was #8, and I had the #1 and #3 my last 2 years. The letter I should have written was to myself. I left the cupboard with one of the best OL, DL, and RB corps in all of D-III in a season that many of the top teams appear to be down. I really never intended to lateral to Guilford in the 1st place. My goal all along was to go rebuild MS. While I left behind my best shot at my first NC, I guess it will be sweeter to build my own NC team. At least that is what I have to tell myself.

Dubs: Which level do you find the most fun? The most intriguing?
KK: In terms of fun, I am still a D-III guy. I cut my teeth in Camp D-III and really tried to learn the game by watching how the ASC powerhouses were built. To me, Warner D-III is the most fun because there is a good mix of very good coaches and up and comers trying to learn the game with good success. The D-I in the older worlds is where I want to get once I am more comfortable with the game because that seems to be where the best coaches are, but I enjoy the Dobie coaches and the race for the elites there. If more coaches stayed at D-II I think it could become my favorite level because it seems to be the only world where a good defense can counter a good offense. In terms of most intriguing, I would say I-AA. The recruiting there is most interesting because of how the law of the jungle applies there. You have to know the spots you can pluck a D-I type player without a mid-major coming in and taking him from you when a BCS or elite drops down on him. My thought is that D-II may be the easiest to win a NC because of the lack of humans there in most worlds. I am going to give it a run because I have some friends who are starting to feel sorry for me.

Dubs: How do you pick which school to coach?
KK: I wish I could tell you that I look at recruiting area first and foremost, but I seem to get myself in some of the worst recruiting areas for whatever reason. It really depends what I am trying to accomplish by joining a World and level. As a general rule of thumb I like the Southeastern and Texas schools for recruiting. There are certain conferences I gravitate to such as the ASC in D-III, the Gulf South in D-II, the SWAC in I-AA, and the SEC in D-I. I will scan those conferences first to see if they have the type of team I want, and then look at the surrounding conferences. In terms of the particular teams, I am a battle of the trenches type of coach. I look at OL, RB, and DL and really do not concern myself with the other positions initially. I try to stay away from the conferences that have the 20 year Dynasty coaches if possible, unless I am going there to coach a couple of seasons to try to learn from them. I have done that with the ASC in Camp before, and learned a lot. I have also taken on schools to coach with certain coaches, and for active posting boards. Recently, I joined Bryant because as an Alabama fan I felt it was a something I needed to do. I got Jeff and Jeremiah (bullfrog) to join as well, and we all took over ASC rebuilds on the same side of the conference. That one is going to be interesting.

Dubs: How is that going so far?
KK: Well it looks like as of last night, Bullfrog moved to the other side of the conference and Mr. Mojo took his old team on our side. You should keep an eye out and jump into the mix as well. Should be fun.

Dubs: Will gladly play you guys nonconference. My little DIII rebuilding project is in the NJAC. Check it out. Team had 226 average per player when I got there. Nonetheless, this interview is about you, so let's move back. Do you enjoy the people you have met in this game as much or more than you do winning at it?
KK: I have never given this question much thought until now, but I will have to say that my actions cause me to think that I do enjoy competing with certain coaches as much as I enjoy winning at the game. I say this because there have been worlds and levels I could have stayed in and won, but I did not enjoy the people or number of Sims and gave them up. When I look at my current teams I do enjoy them more as a result of the coaches I am competing against. I was on track with the top coaches in Hayes, but dropped the world because it was not as much fun to me as Dobie. Several of the coaches were the same, but the interactions were different. The Camp D-III was my favorite in the past, but I began to enjoy the Warner D-III more because of the other coaches and stayed there. Even by taking a team in Bryant, I made sure to have coaches I enjoy competing with join to keep my interest up. I guess my move from Guilford to Mississippi in Warner further solidifies this.

Dubs: What are the best locations to recruit at on each level, in your opinion?
KK: This is one of the pieces of the game that I have tried to become better at evaluating. As of late, I have done a very good job of ignoring both the research and my own personal experience. I am most familiar with D-III, and I hear Colorado has the best recruiting. If I could have any team in any world D-III I would go with Huntington. I like several of the TX teams for recruiting, and I have always found MS and LA very easy to recruit at. While it seems the Northeast may have the most recruits available, I have always found the competition for them to be the most fierce. I also have seen that Menlo and Chapman in CA are fairly easy places to recruit. As a rule of thumb, I do not think you can go wrong in most places in the South from TX over to NC.

As for D-II, I still like the same areas. The Lone Star conference seems to have good recruits available, and the Gulf South. If I could have any D-II school, I would take Valdosta State. I have also found the SAC and MIAA easy to recruit in.

For D-IAA, it may be my southern bias kicking in again but I really like the SWAC schools. However, you and jmason showed me that St. Mary's in CA is not a bad place and several other Big Sky schools such as Texas State and Weber seemed to have good recruits readily available.

In D-I is where I have the least experience. I would think that USC would be the best because of the CA talent, and lack of competition. I am just beginning to really research this level as we speak.

Dubs: Not bad on most analysis. Which schools have you enjoyed coaching the most?
KK: I would have to say that the 2nd team I ever coached was one of my favorites. The team was Defiance in Camp D-III. It was where I learned how to coach, I made the playoffs for the first time, and won my first CC. It did not have anything to do with Jeff coaching Baldwin-Wallace on the other side of the conference, and that while he won the first 2 CC's when I got there I then rattled off the next 5 straight.

I will also have to say that I have really enjoyed each level in Dobie. I had DKC in my first conference, then Jeff and I were in the same conference in D-II, and then we had the full house in I-AA in the Big Sky. It was fun until I got a little concerned I might not ever make it out of I-AA.

Dubs: Do you prefer Bowls or Playoffs?
KK: I am definitely a big fan of the playoffs. There are too many variables that are factored into which teams make it to the NC game in D-I. With a playoff format there leaves no doubt as to who the true National Champ is.

Dubs: Do you think the best team always wins in a playoff format?
KK: I actually think more times than not the best team does not win in the playoffs. That is one of the things I like the most. The coach who does the best job of having his team clicking on all cylinders for that stretch of games wins. I enjoy watching a team that should not be there start to knock off better teams. This is what motivates me to do the ratings in Warner. I like to see which teams appear to be the most talented, and then see which coaches get the most from teams that are not as talented on paper. This is actually one of my favorite aspects of the game.

Dubs: How big a deal do you think the mysterious formation ratings factor in some of those "upsets"?
KK: This is a tough one for me because my personal experience contradicts what some really good coaches are saying. While I cannot argue with their success, I personally believe that the risk/reward does not justify the negative ramifications of no formation IQ. I see a tremendous uptick in penalties and fumbles when no formation practice is being utilized on my own teams. My thought is that these coaches have the talent and coaching wherewithal to overcome these things. However, I do not think it is in the best interest of any new coach to try this.

Personally, I think the use of this method may allow those who are practicing formations to be in games that maybe they should not be in. I am sure that there will be more to come, but I still believe to put your team in the best position to win you need to practice formations before you use them.

Dubs: Which formations do you like the most?
KK: There is not a more beautiful thing in sports than a well run Wishbone attack. As a lifelong Alabama fan, my fondest childhood memories revolve around watching Jeff Rutledge and Steadman Shealy run it to perfection in the late 70's. In terms of GD, I love nothing better than putting together a team of hoss RB's and solid OL and jamming the bone down people's throats. I also like the "I" because you can approach it like a WB when you do not have the RB depth, and you can mix in an occasional pass if necessary. I try to keep my rosters as WR and TE light as possible, so the ND box, trips and shotgun are normally not options for me.

Dubs: How about on defense?
KK: I like the 5-2 the best, but as of last I have not had the luxury of LB's with the necessary attributes to run it. In most cases right now I am having to run the 4-4 more as a result.

Dubs: How important are halftime adjustments in the success of coaches?
KK: I really think that the halftime adjustments are one of the most important aspects of the game. Outside of recruiting talent, the way a game is managed in terms of using the stamina and effectiveness seems to be one of the main keys to success. So in essence, the halftime box score is the road map to success in the 2nd half. Squeezing that balloon to balance how long you can keep your best players on the field before having to make changes is huge. It does appear that at the higher levels it may not be as important because you have certain guys that can play an entire game at full effectiveness if used properly. But at the lower levels this is the one place that you have an opportunity to take advantage of a team that may have more talent, but may not be coached as well.

Dubs: Speaking of recruiting, what would be your general recruiting strategy?
KK: For the most part I try to take the best local players I can find, and prepare to lock down the local recruiting area to fill the bulk of my classes. I then check to see how many spots I have left and what the risk/reward is in terms of talent and how much cash I have left to make a run at some of the top national players. I will have back-ups in place in case something goes wrong or I have to battle to keep my top local guys. In a world such as Dobie, this allows me to get good classes the year before the 2nd wave of coaches come in. That following year when the 2nd wave comes in, I have a class of good players under my belt and a bankroll to battle the new coaches when they get to their new schools.

Dubs: Where have you found the most success in recruiting?
KK: Strictly based on the rankings, I would say Guilford but I had prestige from the get go and naturally it was very easy. I have recruited well in the past at MS and LA. I had good success at D-II at West VA Wesleyan, and at D-IAA at Liberty. GA was pretty easy at I-A, but with a lack of human coaches it is to be expected.

The best recruiting I have ever done was Montana State. They were not the best classes in the country like Guilford, but based on the pool of available recruits it was my best work. Western Oregon is along those same lines, and at D-III I was lucky to have decent classes at Husson and Wesley based on the talent pool.

Dubs: Do you think the game is more or less enjoyable because of the wide variance in recruiting locations?
KK: I am one of those that believe one of the biggest problems facing society today is that everyone gets a trophy. By the same token, I think that the fact that there is such a variance in location makes it much more enjoyable. If all the players were the same, and all the schools had the same recruiting pool and vision I do not see how that could be fun. Just like in real life, there are going to be winners and losers. I would enjoy the game less if all things were equal.

Dubs: Ah, but isn't there a difference between equality of opportunity and equality of results?
KK: I think it has been proven on numerous occasions that there is an equal opportunity to succeed if you are willing to put the work into learning the game. There is no doubt that you get out of it what you put into it. If you look at the progression of the coaches that came into the game when I started the results are pretty clear. Jeremiah took it upon himself to be a true student of the game, and was the first of us to win a NC and now has 2 under his belt. Jeff and I had always said that we were going to have to put more into it to cross that line. Since the Survivor game, Jeff has put more into it and now has just taken 2 half NC's with you. I am still doing just enough to get by and have not taken it to the next level. Jeff's brother did not have the time to devote to the learning piece, and his legacy will be in the fact that he left us with an id to use for experimental purposes.

Dubs: What is your biggest weakness as a coach?
KK: Just plain laziness. Especially with halftime adjustments. Right now I am up 7 at half in the CC game in Warner. I see a couple of things that could help me in the 2nd half, but I am willing to let it ride and feel comfortable my team will pull it out regardless. This method has gotten me in trouble in the past to say the least.

Dubs: What is your biggest strength as a coach?
KK: I am not sure if I have any real strengths. What I see myself as is the "average man type of coach". There are some coaches who are just terrible. They will not take the time to learn the game, not read the forums or FAQs or developer chats and not ask questions. They buy a 10 pack come in to recruit, set a game plan, and go 4-9 for 10 seasons. On the other side of the coin you have the student of game types. Reads the forums all day, uses spreadsheets, asks questions, joins coaching clubs to hone their skills, and are mentored by the best coaches in the game. Then you have the average coach kind of guys. Will read posts on conference calls at work, will post here and there, asks questions when the mood strikes. Enjoys recruiting but really does not want to take the time to make halftime adjustments. Back to you get out of this game what you put into it. These guys will win some CC's move up into the higher levels, but never really make it up there with the top tier coaches. You can have fun at this game by being hot and cold, but to be a top coach it takes time. So if it can be considered a strength, I think it is simply knowing how to enjoy the game.

Dubs: Which aspect of the game do you enjoy the most?
KK: I really like the recruiting aspect of the game, and enjoy the day after recruiting ends when all of the ranking come out. I also really like the playoff process.

Dubs: Do you have anything you want to add before I do the trios?
KK: I think I said it before, but I really believe that you get out of the game what you put into it. The more you read, experiment, and ask questions the more fun it is. Also, like anything worth doing success does not and should not come overnight. However, I think that I am a prime example of the fact that you do not have to be on the site all day every day to have a reasonable amount of success. Initially, new coaches should set milestones for themselves and monitor their progress along the way. If they stay with it they will be surprised of what they will be able to accomplish.

Dubs: Choose your favorite between the three choices.


TRIO #2: McDonald's, Burger King or Wendy's.
KK: Wendy's Burgers. McD's fries, BK onion rings.

TRIO #3: Burgers, fries or onion rings
KK: Burgers

TRIO #4: Nickelodeon, Disney Channel or Cartoon Network
(In honor of Father's Day)
KK: For me it is Disney, but my daughter loves Noggin so I have to say Nick for her. My son is a obsessed with Pokeman so it is Cartoon Network for him.

TRIO #5: Soccer, Lacrosse or Hockey.
KK: I am going to go with Lacrosse. I think I am going to try to get my son to give it a shot.

TRIO #6: Texas Hold 'Em, Omaha or Razz
KK: Omaha - especially hi-lo because of the size of the pots.

TRIO #7: Alabama football, Winning the Lottery or Breathing
KK: It was very close here, but breathing just edges out Alabama football.