K-State names NDSU's Klieman as new football coach

MANHATTAN, Kan. Update, Wednesday evening, Dec. 12, 2018

Kansas State University Wednesday introduced current North Dakota State Head Football Coach Chris Klieman as the man to replace Bill Snyder.

Snyder was in attendance at Wednesday's news conference in which Klieman addressed the media and fans for the first time.

Wednesday's news conference officially introduced Klieman as K-State's new football coach, but the university made the announcement official on Twitter Monday when K-State Athletic Director Gene Taylor called Klieman to offer him the job.

Wednesday, Klieman addressed Snyder, thanking him for building the program.

"I know the shoes that I Have to fill, coach. You're a legend and you're an icon. I look up to you," Klieman says. "I'm going to continue to ask you questions. I'm going to continue to bounce ideas off of you because you are Kansas State football."

Before making his full transition to K-State, Klieman will complete the season still underway for North Dakota State. The Bison host South Dakota State Saturday in the semifinals of the FCS playoffs.

With NDSU, Klieman is seeking his second consecutive national championship as head coach and third in four years.


Kansas State University will introduce Chris Klieman as its head football coach this morning.

Watch live coverage of the media conference on KWCH.com and the KWCH app.


Update: K-State makes it official. The university confirms reports that North Dakota State Head Football Coach Chris Klieman is its choice to replace Bill Snyder.

Monday night, K-State football tweeted a video of K-State Athletic Director Gene Taylor having a phone conversation with Klieman.

“I’m very excited to have Chris Klieman lead our program,” Taylor said. “He is a perfect fit for us, both from a personal standpoint and as a head coach. He’s a tremendous teacher who I had the pleasure to hire at NDSU and watched him turn into a very successful coach. He will bring a ton of energy and excitement. His teams play extremely hard, disciplined football. He’s a winner. That’s all he does is win, and we’re excited to have Chris, Rhonda and the entire Klieman family join our K-State family. They will be a great fit not only for Kansas State Football and Kansas State Athletics, but also the entire community of Manhattan.”

Klieman has agreed to a six-year contract with a base salary of $2.3 million in 2019 with a $200,000 increase each year.

“This is an absolute dream job,” Klieman, a four-time finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award as the FCS Coach of the Year, said. “I’m so happy and thrilled to follow a legend in Coach Snyder."

Klieman holds a 70-13 record in his six seasons overall as head coach, including a 67-6 mark at North Dakota State. His 84.3 winning percentage as a head coach is the third-highest mark by an active coach among all NCAA Divisions, while it is the top mark among current FCS coaches by nearly seven percent.


One of the nation's most closely-watched college football coaching searches reaches its end.

ESPN's Jake Trotter tweeted out contract details solidifying K-State's pick of North Dakota State Head Football Coach Kris Klineman to replace Bill Snyder.

Before multiple sources reported the deal was done, national college football reporter Bruce Feldman confirmed news Monday night that Kansas State University was expected to offer the job to Klieman.

Since joining the North Dakota State coaching staff as a defensive backs coach in 2011, Klieman has been part of the Bison's run of six FCS national titles in seven years. He's been North Dakota State's head football coach since 2014 and again has the Bison in the national semifinals. North Dakota State is 13-0 and seeking its third FCS title in four years.

In 2012 and 2013, he served as North Dakota State's defensive coordinator.

Current K-State Athletic Director Gene Taylor hired Klieman as head football coach at North Dakota State.

With the transition to K-State and the Big 12, Klieman jumps from the FCS to the FBS, the highest level of college football.

Klieman had coaching success against the Wildcats. In 2013, North Dakota State kicked off its undefeated FCS-title run with a season-opening upset at defending Big 12 champion, K-State.

Klieman was the Bison's defensive coordinator that season. He took over the head-coaching job the following year, replacing Coach Craig Bohl who took the head coaching job at Wyoming of the FBS Mountain West Conference.

This time, he has even bigger shoes to fill. In following the architect of one of the biggest turnarounds in college sports history, Klieman is tasked with elevating K-State's program back to a point where it routinely expects to remain in the Big-12 championship discussion.


North Dakota State Head Football Coach Chris Klieman addressed the speculation surrounding him and the Kansas State Head Coach opening Monday.

Klieman opened his weekly press conference by saying nothing had changed from what he said Saturday after North Dakota State's win over Colgate in the FCS quarterfinals.

"I think I'll learn either today, tonight, or tomorrow but nothing has changed from what we had on Saturday," Klieman said.

"My focus has been the last two days strictly on South Dakota State on Sunday and Monday and we'll go from there."

Klieman was asked if he was frustrated with the length of time the Kansas State search has taken and said it's "just the process."
adding he couldn't speak to the process that Kansas State is using to hire it's next coach.

"I did what I did on Thursday and thought I did a nice job and we'll find out over the next 24 hours."

Klieman said Saturday he addressed his team earlier in the week about the possibility of his name coming up in Kansas State's search but he wouldn't need to talk to them again because of how they responded.

With no new information coming from Kansas State about the direction they are heading with their search Klieman said his focus remains on the upcoming semifinal game Friday.

"Right now I plan on coaching the team because I'm still the head coach."

Klieman was also asked about his experience in 2013 as Craig Bohl was transitioning from NDSU to the University of Wyoming and if he's applying it to how he's handling this situation.

"I had the unique thing in 2013 to be the defensive coordinator here and I was knee deep in stuff. So I was just in my cave. I haven't been able to worry about that stuff its the landscape of college football. With signing day, with FCS playoffs, with Bowl games, all that stuff, guys, it's tough, it's difficult."

"That's why it's so fun when you have 24 great seniors, great bunch of guys that play for each other, great administrative support, we'll just see how it all plays out."