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
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.
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?
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
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?
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
Dubs: If that's really the case, then what are my hole cards right now?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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
Dubs: Do you think the best team always wins in a playoff format?
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"?
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
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?
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?
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?
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
Dubs: Where have you found the most success in recruiting?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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 #1: DIII, DII or DIAA.
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
TRIO #4: Nickelodeon, Disney Channel or Cartoon Network
(In honor of Father's Day)
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
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.