Kansas State and football coach Chris Klieman are in the process of finalizing a new contract worth $44 million for the next eight seasons, sources told ESPN.
Klieman will make an average of $5.5 million a year over the course of the deal, which ESPN says will continue through the 2030 season. The transaction, effective July 1, is expected to close and be announced in the near future.
The deal follows Kansas State’s Big 12 championship in 2022, the school’s first since 2012. Kansas State finished last season 10-4, finished No. 3 in TCU in the Big 12 title game and eventually dropped down ranked 5 in Alabama back the sugar bowl.
A source with knowledge of the contract told ESPN that the length of the contract and the increase in average pay are signs of the school’s desire to keep Klieman in the state of Kansas long-term. Klieman’s contract for the 2030 season is four seasons longer than the current contract, which ends after the 2026 season. The average pay rise for Klieman will be nearly $1.5 million per year as the contract being replaced averages nearly $4 million per year.
Klieman’s new contract starts at $4.5 million a year in the 2023 season and escalates to an average of $5.5 million from there. He is expected to be in the top half of Big 12 coaching salaries.
The 2022 season continued the steady buildup of the Kansas State program for Klieman, who enters his fifth year in 2023 with a strong team. Kansas State is returning a majority of its starters on offense, including all five offensive linemen, and a total of nine players expected to use their sixth year of eligibility. Kansas State was expected to fight for the Big 12 title again.
Klieman is 30-20 in four seasons at Kansas State, the most wins in four seasons for any coach in school history. Since the Klieman takeover, Kansas State has won at least eight games in every full season. (It went 4-6 in the 2020 season shortened by the pandemic.)
Klieman carried a track record of big wins to Kansas State; In his five seasons as North Dakota State head coach, he led the Bison to four FCS national titles and a 69-6 record. He is tied with Jim Tressel (Youngstown State) for most FCS national titles by a coach. Klieman was part of seven national titles while on the NDSU coaching staff.
Kansas State opens the 2023 season with home games against Southeast Missouri and Troy before traveling to Missouri on September 16.