Chris Klieman

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Chris Klieman
Current position
TitleHead coach
TeamKansas State
ConferenceBig 12
Annual salary$2.5 million
Biographical details
Born (1967-09-27) September 27, 1967 (age 53)
Waterloo, Iowa
Playing career
1986–1990Northern Iowa
Position(s)Defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1991–1992Northern Iowa (GA)
1993Northern Iowa (DB)
1994–1996Western Illinois (DB)
1997Kansas (GA)
1999Missouri State (DB)
2002–2004Loras (DC)
2006–2007Northern Iowa (DB)
2008Northern Iowa (Co-DC/DB)
2009–2010Northern Iowa (DC/DB)
2011North Dakota State (DB)
2012–2013North Dakota State (DC)
2014–2018North Dakota State
2019–presentKansas State
Head coaching record
Tournaments18–1 (NCAA FCS playoffs)
Accomplishments and honors
4 NCAA Division I FCS (2014, 2015, 2017, 2018)
5 MVFC (2014–2018)
MVFC Coach of the Year (2017)

Christopher Paul Klieman (born September 27, 1967) is an American football coach and former player, and is currently the head coach for Kansas State University in the Big 12 Conference. He took over from the retiring Bill Snyder after leading North Dakota State University to the 2018 Division I FCS championship, marking his fourth national championship in five seasons at NDSU.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Klieman was born on September 27, 1967, in Waterloo, Iowa to Robert "Bob" Klieman[3] and Mary Kay. He was raised in Waterloo and graduated from Columbus Catholic High School in 1986.[4] Through high school he was a star athlete, competing as quarterback and defensive back on the football team. His father Bob, a Hall of Fame official and a long time coach of both golf and football at Columbus Catholic High School, is also a member of the Upper Iowa University Athletic Hall of Fame.[5] Klieman has two siblings, a sister, Sarah, and a brother, Scott.

After high school, Klieman attended the University of Northern Iowa where he played in the defensive secondary for the Panthers football team from 1986 to 1990.[6]

Coaching career[edit]

After graduating from Northern Iowa in 1990, Klieman began coaching for the Panthers under then head coach Terry Allen until 1993. Klieman accepted a position with Western Illinois and stayed there for 3 seasons until 1996. In 1997, he enjoyed a brief season stay with Kansas as a defensive backs coach and one season with Missouri State in 1999. He then spent five seasons at Loras College from 2001 to 2005, serving as defensive coordinator from 2002–2004. In 2005, he accepted his first head coaching position, leading the Division III Loras Duhawks to a 3–7 record. In early 2006, he stepped down from his head coaching position at Loras to accept the defensive backs coaching position back at his alma mater Northern Iowa. He became Co-Defensive Coordinator the next year and held that position until leaving for North Dakota State in 2011.[6]

North Dakota State[edit]

In 2011, Craig Bohl hired Klieman as a defensive backs coach. He became the defensive coordinator the following season in 2012 until being promoted in 2014. After Bohl announced that he was leaving to become the head coach of Wyoming, then athletic director Gene Taylor promoted Klieman to become the 30th head football coach in Bison history in 2014.

After winning three consecutive National Championships and going 43–2 since 2011, the expectations for the 2014 team were not high. The Bison had lost their starting quarterback and a total of 30 seniors that graduated before the season started. But 2014 surprised everyone when he and future 2nd overall NFL draft pick Carson Wentz led the Bison to a 15–1 overall record and a fourth consecutive national championship by beating Illinois State in a close, hard-fought championship game. NDSU became the first Division 1 football program to win four consecutive championships.

In 2015, the Bison continued their winning ways and ended the season 13–2 with a fifth consecutive national championship, the most by any NCAA football program in history.

In 2016, the Bison again won their conference title, but lost in the FCS semifinals to James Madison, their first playoff loss in 6 years. They ended the year at 12–2, their sixth straight season with double-digit wins. The 2017 season continued the Bison dominance by again going 10–1 and winning their seventh consecutive MVFC title and avenging the previous years loss to James Madison by beating them in the Championship Game 17–13. It was Klieman's third National Championship in four seasons and the Bison's sixth in seven years. They won it all again in 2018.

Kansas State[edit]

On December 10, 2018, Kansas State University announced Klieman had been hired as the program's 35th head coach to replace the recently retired Bill Snyder. Klieman signed a six-year contract worth $16.8 million. Both schools agreed that Klieman would remain at NDSU while the Bison were participating in the FCS playoffs.[7]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs AP/TSN/STATS# Coaches°
Loras Duhawks (Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) (2005)
2005 Loras 3–7 2–6 7th
Loras: 3–7 2–6
North Dakota State Bison (Missouri Valley Football Conference) (2014–2018)
2014 North Dakota State 15–1 7–1 T–1st W FCS National Championship 1 1
2015 North Dakota State 13–2 7–1 T–1st W FCS National Championship 1 1
2016 North Dakota State 12–2 7–1 T–1st L FCS Semifinals 3 3
2017 North Dakota State 14–1 7–1 1st W FCS National Championship 1 1
2018 North Dakota State 15–0 8–0 1st W FCS National Championship 1 1
North Dakota State: 69–6 36–4
Kansas State Wildcats (Big 12 Conference) (2019–present)
2019 Kansas State 8–5 5–4 T–3rd L Liberty
2020 Kansas State 4–6 4–5 7th
2021 Kansas State 0-0 0-0
Kansas State: 12–11 9–9
Total: 84–24
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth
  • #Rankings from final AP/TSN/STATS Poll.
  • °Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.


  1. ^ "Kansas St. hires Klieman from North Dakota St". December 11, 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  2. ^ "Easton Stick leads North Dakota State past Eastern Washington for FCS title". Associated Press. January 5, 2019. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  3. ^ Sullivan, Jim (December 19, 2013). "Like father, like son for Kliemans | Sully Side of Sports". Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  4. ^ "1986". Archived from the original on November 13, 2016. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  5. ^ "Upper Iowa University – Upper Iowa University Athletics Hall of Fame". Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  6. ^ a b "College football: Klieman leaves UNI for job with North Dakota State | | Football". March 8, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  7. ^ Black, Ryan (December 10, 2018). "K-State hires North Dakota State head coach Chris Klieman to replace Bill Snyder. Known for his absolutely terrible clock management in the 2019 Liberty Bowl loss to Navy". Manhattan Mercury. Retrieved December 11, 2018.

External links[edit]