In the world of UL intramural athletics, one basketball team has risen above the rest over the past 30 years, in reputation and legend. ultoday.com sat down with the man behind that team, Dr. Gary Kinsland (aka 'Dr. K'), to talk about UL, basketball, and most importantly, the Geodawgs.

Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in Oregon on the coast about 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean. It was a small town with a French name in spelling, but it wasn't pronounced French. It's Coquille, which is the French word for 'shell'. It's about the size of Sunset, 4,500 people. I went to school in New York at the University of Rochester. I got all my degrees at the same place, physics then geology.

How did you end up at UL?

I taught one year at Arizona State before I came here. By that time I was married. It was 1977, and I was here for the Andrew Toney years.

I almost didn't apply here. I walked in the office one day and there were three job offers on the counter. I looked at all three of them and put UL back. Then I thought about it and decided, Why not fill out the application? I didn't want to go south, I wanted to stay west. But we took the trip, and when I got here I didn't want to leave. I don't think people who are from here appreciate how special this place is.

When I got here, the town was just starting. The Basin bridge [the Atchafalaya Throughway] hadn't even been built yet.

What do you do here at UL?

I'm a professor in Geology, a geophysicist, I teach and I do research. There is a real advantage for somebody like me to be at a university like this, because I'm not defined. Some places that I had interviewed after my PhD, like Penn State or Cal Tech, would have wanted me to remain doing what I did to get my PhD. Since I've been here I've done many different things.

I don't think people always recognize how a place like this can be the right place for some people, and it has been for me. I can think of ideas and actually do them. This really is a good place for someone like me. You don't make as much money as you would at other schools, or if you were working in industry, but you have freedom.

I think the University is proud of having diversity. It makes for a fun life.

Did you always play basketball?

I went out to play ball in the 8th grade. I was growing fast, and I was clumsy and uncoordinated. Other kids my age who had matured faster were better. The coach wanted to win, so he played the short guys. It worked for him, he got promoted to be a high school coach, but the three tallest guys in my class didn't play ball. Two of us were 6'3 and one of us was 6'6.

When I got in graduate school, I found that playing 3 or 4 hours of pick-up basketball in the afternoon was a good thing. I would go in in the morning and work on my research, go play basketball, come back in the evening and do some more research. Playing ball sort of perks you up. I got a lot done that way. Fortunately my thesis adviser was tolerant. At that point, I got to where I was a decent ball player, though I never could jump high enough to dunk.