K-State Announces Extension for Head Coach Chris Klieman


MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State Athletics and head coach Chris Klieman have agreed to terms on a contract extension that runs through the 2026 football season, Athletics Director Gene Taylor announced today.

Klieman, who led the Wildcats to eight wins and a bowl berth in his first season at K-State, is one of the winningest active head coaches in the country (82-19) and has continued to elevate the Wildcat program in just one-plus seasons at the helm.

Under the terms of the new contract, Klieman will be paid an annual base salary of $3.1 million in 2021, $3.5 million in 2022, $4 million in 2023, $4.3 million in 2024, $4.3 million in 2025 and $4.3 million in 2026. The contract calls for several new incentives which includes retention bonuses in 2021 and 2022 and also additional years added for winning eight or more regular season games in a season.

“Chris and his staff have done a phenomenal job in their short time at K-State, and we are excited that he will be here for a very long time,” Taylor said. “We had been in discussions for an extended period of time, but certainly with sensitivity surrounding the COVID pandemic, we wanted to wait and finalize this contract once we were back to playing football and had some sense of certainty about the season. Chris is a tremendous fit, someone who cares a great deal about his players, and most importantly, he and his staff are terrific football coaches and we look forward to many more years under his leadership.”

Klieman, a proven winner with a championship history, was named the 35th head football coach in Kansas State history on December 10, 2018, and in his first season at the helm of the K-State program, the Wildcats managed to win eight games, finish in a tie for third in the Big 12 after being picked ninth in the preseason, knocked off No. 5 Oklahoma at home for the first time since 1996, won at Mississippi State – the Wildcats first win in 11 tries inside an SEC stadium – kept the Governor’s Cup in Manhattan following their 11th-straight win over rival Kansas and quickly got back to bowl eligibility after missing out the year prior.

The eight wins by Klieman were the most in school history by a first-year coach and also ranked second nationally among first-year Power 5 head coaches in 2019, trailing only Ohio State’s Ryan Day. He has since followed that with a strong start in 2020, which has been one of the most difficult seasons in sports history to navigate following the COVID-19 pandemic, as the Wildcats knocked off No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman for the program’s first-ever road win over a top-5 team and enter this weekend’s game at TCU with a 2-1 record and receiving votes in both major polls.

“My family and I love K-State and we are very fortunate to call Manhattan home,” Klieman said. “I appreciate Gene (Taylor) and President Myers for trusting my staff and me to lead this program, and we will continue to work as hard as we possibly can each and every day to not only win football games but also to help the young men in our program grow and be successful. We have made great progress in just under two years here, but we still have a long way to go to get where we want to be, and we are excited for the future of K-State Football.”

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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