Klieman’s new coaching contract features bonuses, perks for bowl games

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K-State football head coach Chris Klieman runs onto field with the Wildcats prior to the game against West Virginia in 2019. Klieman and K-State Athletics recently agreed to a contract extension. (File photo by Dalton Wainscott I Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State Athletics and footballl head coach Chris Klieman agreed to a contract extension, keeping Klieman in Manhattan through 2026.

The new contract raises his base salary incrementally from $2.5 million this year to $4.3 million in 2026. The new contract features some other changes as well.

The new contract expands rule violations covered in the contract to NCAA rules, Big 12 Conference rules, university and K-State Athletics rules. The original contract only listed NCAA rules.

Klieman will receive automatic extensions each year K-State wins eight games and appears in a bowl game under Klieman. For the COVID-shortened 2020 season, the Wildcats only need to win six games and appear in a bowl game.

Klieman can earn up to three contract extensions at $4.3 million per year.

Klieman and K-State will negotiate an extension after the 2024-25 contract year.

Kllieman’s raises begin with the 2021 season. The salaries are as follows:

  • 2020: $2.5 million
  • 2021: $3.1 million
  • 2022: $3.5 million
  • 2023: $4 million
  • 2024, 2025 and 2026: $4.3 million

All salaries are base pay. Klieman can earn performance-based bonuses if K-State were to win the Big 12 football championships. However, K-State added retention bonuses.

If Klieman remains head coach after the 2021 season, he will receive a lump sum of $200,000. The season after that, he will receive $250,000.

Athletics amended the buy-out section of the contract as well. The new system is based on the percentage of unpaid base salary and the number of contract years left. Previously, K-State would have paid Klieman a specific amount that decreased over the course of the contract.

If Klieman were fired with four years remaining on his contract, he would be entitled to 75 percent of the total salary K-State owes him. If he were fired with three years left, it would be 67 percent and 50 percent at two years left. If they fire him with one or fewer years left on his contract, he would be paid $4.3 million or the remainder of the total owed, whichever is less.

The percentage system considers the automatic extension years.

If Klieman resigns before the end of his contract, he owes K-State $5 million if five or more years remain in the contract. The amount decreases by $1 million each year following that.

The head coach’s perks package features eight hour usage time for a private airplane and a catered suite at any potential bowl games. The bowl game tickets must be for the purpose of “promoting the University and the football program and/or athletics department.”

University president Richard Myers signed the extension Sept. 25, a day before K-State’s big upset of Oklahoma. Klieman and athletics director Gene Taylor signed it Sept. 28.

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Hi! I'm Nathan Enserro, an alumnus from Olathe, Kansas. I graduated in spring 2022 with a Masters in Mass Communication, and I graduated in spring 2020 with a Bachelor's of Science in strategic communications from K-State. I covered K-State sports for the Collegian for four years.