MANHATTAN, Kan. (K-State release) K-State Football players reported to the Vanier Family Football Complex on Thursday prior to the first full team meeting under new head coach Chris Klieman.
Starting Friday, the Wildcats will conduct 20 practices over a 23-day stretch prior to the first day of classes on Monday, August 26, and game week prep for the 11th Annual K-State Family Reunion on August 31 against Nicholls.
K-State returns 40 letterwinners – including 18 starters – as the Wildcats usher in a new era of K-State Football under Klieman. The Wildcats have six players that earned honors in the preseason in punter Devin Anctil (Ray Guy Award watch list), running back James Gilbert (Maxwell Award watch list), center Adam Holtorf (Rimington Trophy watch list), defensive end Wyatt Hubert (Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list), place kicker Blake Lynch (Lou Groza Award watch list) and defensive end Reggie Walker (Preseason All-Big 12).
Klieman begins his first season at K-State following an ultra-successful five-year stint as the head coach at North Dakota State in which he won four National Championships and put together an impressive 69-6 (.920) record. Klieman, who served as an assistant coach for the Bison the previous three seasons, has been a part of seven National Championships over the last eight years.
Flanking Klieman is an assistant coaching staff that boasts a combined 199 years of experience at both the college and NFL levels, 96 combined postseason appearances and 15 National Championships. Leading the offense is coordinator Courtney Messingham, who enters his 30th year in coaching, while Scottie Hazelton leads the defense and enters his 24th year of coaching.