Connect with us

Coaching Carousel

Kansas State Hires North Dakota State’s Chris Klieman As Next Head Coach

Kansas State has found their man, and it’s Chris Klieman from FCS powerhouse North Dakota State.



Getty Images - Matthew Holst

As conventional wisdom goes, you never want to be the guy to follow a legend. You want to be the guy after that guy. However, Kansas State has found their guy that’s up to the challenge of following in Bill Snyder’s footsteps. What if I told you Kansas State hired Nick Saban? Well, the Wildcats have about as much of a chance of hiring Saban as I have of making an NFL roster. But who they did hire, is the Nick Saban of the FCS.

The Wildcats announced on Monday that they have hired North Dakota State’s Chris Klieman as their next head coach.

“This is an absolute dream job,” Klieman said in the press release. “I’m so happy and thrilled to follow a legend in Coach Snyder. I’ve followed him from afar, went to his camps while playing in Waterloo, Iowa, and played against his Kansas State team when I was at Northern Iowa. The opportunity to follow in an icon’s footsteps is something I don’t take for granted and don’t take lightly. I know I have huge shoes to fill, and I’m excited to carry on his legacy.”

Now, Klieman’s success at North Dakota State reads like my dynasty record playing NCAA Football 14. Only he’s doing it in real life. In five years as head coach of the Bison, Klieman has gone 67-6 with five conference championships and three national titles, and is currently leading the Bison to a 13-0 record and the FCS semifinals (the FCS plays a proper playoff for their championship).

The knock on Klieman is that he doesn’t have any Power Five, or even FBS experience. That is, if you don’t count beating Iowa State and Iowa as FBS experience. Oh, and the Bison knocked off Kansas State when Klieman was defensive coordinator at NDSU.

K-State signed Klieman to a six-year deal that will pay him $2.3 million in his first year and will go up $200,000 each additional year. That sounds like a ton of money, and it is, but in today’s college football arm’s race, it’s quickly becoming chump change. Klieman will be the lowest paid coach in the Big 12 with the next lowest salary being newly hired Les Miles at rival Kansas at just north of $2.7 million.