MANHATTAN, Kan. - North Dakota State’s Chris Klieman accepted the position as head coach with Kansas State earlier this week, and late last night he arrived in Manhattan, Kan.
Klieman talked Wednesday about how he’s essentially the head coach of two football programs, and right now he’s got to finish his job at NDSU.
"We still have some work to do at North Dakota State, and part of the reason that I'm here is because of the support I have from the players and administration at North Dakota State. I told the players this last night, I love every one of those kids back there. There's 110 kids back at North Dakota State that I love. I have 24 seniors that I brought on campus either four or five years ago that I've told them how much I love them, and we still have work to do," Klieman said.
Luckily for Klieman, all his players and everyone back in Fargo have been supportive with his decision to start his new endeavor at Kansas State.
"And we play in a game Friday night, and they gave me their unwavering support of, 'coach, this is a great opportunity, it's an opportunity you've earned. We love you. Go do what you do for today, and then come back and let's get ready to go to practice on Thursday,'" Klieman said.
As Klieman arrives in Kansas and is introduced as the Wildcats new head coach, it kind of becomes surreal to everyone here: that North Dakota State needs a new coach, and fast.
Athletic Director Matt Larsen talked about his timeline for getting the next man in as soon as possible.
"So, I anticipate over the course of the next three or four days we're going to meet with candidates and make a decision as soon as possible, but make sure we're making the best decision for North Dakota State, we're making the best decision for the 115 players that are on the roster, making the best decision for NDSU, and making the best decision for the community," Larsen said.
You can hear more from Klieman and North Dakota State throughout the week as they prepare for the FCS Semi-Final game on Friday against South Dakota State.