You weren't Minnesota's first choice as coach, and you've said you weren't your wife's first choice, either. So just how did you win over the missus?
JK: Same way we're gonna win football games here: I'm a competitive son of a gun! Her brother was my roommate in college, and I went home with him one day. She had a boyfriend sitting there at the supper table, and I told her—in front of all of her family—that I was going to marry her someday. Two years later, I did.
Vanderbilt coach James Franklin recently got into hot water for saying he only hired assistants who had hot wives. Do you?
JK: I hire the coach, but I do recognize that when you hire a coach who is married it's a group deal. You want to make sure that the couple is a good team and a good fit for the university.
SI: ANY STORIES ABOUT YOUR LAST NAME?
JK: IT'S GERMAN. EVERYBODY SAYS IT'S A GREAT NAME FOR A FOOTBALL COACH. THE BIGGEST THING IS AT THE AIRPORT. MY WIFE AND I AND THE KIDS ALL GET STOPPED.
The enduring image from your first year last season is your having a seizure in the waning seconds against New Mexico State. What have you learned from the episode?
JK: About a month ago I spoke at an epilepsy [fund-raiser]. Afterward a kid came up to me and said, "I used to get laughed at in school. But now everybody says, 'Coach Kill has [seizures]. He's still coaching. You can continue your life.' "