Kansas State signed football coach Chris Klieman to a new eight-year contract Monday that will pay an average of $5.5 million annually and could keep him tied to the defending Big 12 champion Wildcats through the 2030 season.

The $44 million deal replaces a contract expiring after the 2026 season that paid Klieman an average of $4 million annually.

«What we have been able to accomplish in our first four years here is due to the culture that our players and staff have been able to create,» Klieman said in a statement. «I’m excited to continue to lead this soccer program and put a product on the field each year that can compete at the highest level.»

FILE – Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman holds up the trophy after Kansas State defeated TCU in the NCAA college football game for the Big 12 Conference championship, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. , in Arlington, Texas. (LM Otero / AP Photo)

Klieman added that Kansas State, which is about 2 hours from Kansas City and must overcome some geographic disadvantages when it comes to recruiting, has what it needs to consistently compete for championships.


That includes a new indoor training facility that just opened next to Bill Snyder Family Stadium, which itself has undergone millions in renovations over the years, putting it in the upper echelon of major college football stadiums.

«Chris has done an incredible job creating a program in four years that has not only won a Big 12 championship but more importantly one the players are proud of and helped maintain a championship culture,» said the director. Kansas State athletic Gene Taylor. , who hired Klieman away from North Dakota State to replace retired Hall of Fame coach Bill Snyder.

Chris Klieman at the football match

Chris Klieman, head coach of the Kansas State Wildcats, looks on during the second quarter of the Allstate Sugar Bowl against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Caesars Superdome on December 31, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

«We want to continue the momentum that he and his staff have fostered,» Taylor said. «We are excited to have Chris lead our soccer program for many years to come.»


Klieman, 55, won four national titles in five years at North Dakota State, which is a step behind in the Football Championship Subdivision, but many still wondered if that success would translate to the highest level. top of college football.

Turns out yes.

Klieman went 8-5 and reached the Liberty Bowl in his first season, fell to 4-6 during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, and went back to 8-5 the following year with a Texas Bowl win. that gave momentum to last season. .

Led by All-American running back Deuce Vaughn and defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah, a first-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs, the Wildcats beat TCU in the Big 12 title game, before the Horned Frogs passed to the college football playoffs. . It was the first conference title for Kansas State since 2012, when Snyder was in his second term in Manhattan, Kansas.

Klieman is 30-20 in four seasons with the Wildcats, while his overall college coaching record of 102-33 ranks among the best winning percentages ever. The 30 wins are the most by a Kansas State coach in his first four years.

Chris Klieman in the game

Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman leads his team during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Texas in Manhattan, Kansas on Saturday, December 5, 2020. (Orlin Wagner/AP Photo)

Kansas State should challenge for another Big 12 championship this season.

The Wildcats return quarterback Will Howard, all five starting offensive linemen and several defensive playmakers, including linebacker Daniel Green and safety Kobe Savage. They added Florida State transfer Treshaun Ward to replace Vaughn at running back, Iowa wide receiver Keegan Johnson, and one of the best freshman classes in school history.


Kansas State opens the season on September 2 against southeastern Missouri State.

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