Weekend Football Update: Messingham Fired, Cats Head to Houston

Former K-State quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist Collin Klein, now K-State's Assistant Director of Recruiting and Defensive Quality Control, watches his successor Jake Waters lead the Wildcats in a second half comeback during the fourth quarter of the Valero Alamo Bowl Jan. 2, 2015, in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. (Archive photo by Parker Robb | Collegian Media Group)

Over the weekend, the Kansas State football team (7-5, 4-5) had two big news breaks: head coach Chris Klieman parted ways with offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham, and the Wildcats found out which bowl game they’re headed to.

Klieman announced on Friday, Dec. 3, that neither Messingham nor fullbacks/tight ends coach Jason Ray would return for the 2022 football season. Messingham had come under scrutiny for his play-calling throughout the 2021 football season in his third year in Manhattan.

“We appreciate the efforts of Courtney and Jason during their time in Manhattan and wish them well in the future,” Klieman said. “These were very difficult decisions to make as both are great coaches and friends – Jason since our time at North Dakota State, and Courtney, who I have known since we were young. However, I feel like this is in the best interest of our program moving forward.”

Quarterbacks coach Collin Klein will step in at the interim offensive coordinator position for the ensuing bowl game.

On Sunday, Dec. 5, the Wildcats found out which bowl game they will be headed to – the TaxAct Texas Bowl in Houston on Jan. 4, 2022, to take on the LSU Tigers (6-6, 3-5).

This will be the third time the Wildcats will play in the Texas Bowl, with the last time being a win against Texas A&M in 2016.

“I am really proud of our team, especially our seniors and our staff for their dedication throughout the season and display of our four core values – Discipline, Commitment, Toughness and Be Selfless,” Klieman said. “The story of the 2021 Wildcats still has one chapter to write, and we look forward to kick off the new year in Houston and preparing for a great LSU team in what will be an exciting Texas Bowl.”

Tickets are available for purchase using this link www.kstatesports.com/bowlgame, but students can get tickets for just $45 using the link here.

Catch the Wildcats against the Tigers at 8 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2022, airing on ESPN. Stay tuned with the Collegian leading up to the game for previews, with recap and analysis following the event.