Kansas State University

Chris Klieman’s contract with Kansas State is big on bonuses

Chris Klieman’s contract to coach the Kansas State football team includes several performance-based incentives that could significantly boost his $2.3 million salary next season.

The potential bonuses include:

$50,000 for guiding K-State to a third-place finish in the Big 12 standings, $75,000 for second and $100,000 for a conference championship.

$50,000 for a six-win season that ends in a bowl game, $100,000 for an appearance in a playoff affiliated bowl, $175,000 for a playoff berth, $250,000 for playing in the national championship game and $350,000 for winning a national title.

$25,000 for being selected Big 12 coach of the year or $50,000 for national coach of the year.

$25,000 for a top 25 finish and $50,000 for a top 10.

Klieman can only claim one bonus in each category. They are valid for every year he remains employed by K-State as the school’s football coach. His maximum earning potential next season is $2.85 million.

K-State athletic director Gene Taylor and Klieman signed the contract earlier this week. It is a six-year deal with a starting salary of $2.3 million. That number will increase by $200,000 at the end of each contract year. He will receive $88,400 for working the remainder of the current year. If he stays until the end of his contract, he will be earning $3.3 million in 2024.

He is currently the lowest-paid football coach at a public university in the Big 12. Former coach Bill Snyder was earning $3.5 million. New KU coach Les Miles will make $2.775 million next season.

Klieman’s buyout at K-State will start at $6 million and reduce to $4 million starting in 2021. That number will decrease by $1 million each of the next two years. If Klieman leaves for a different job, he will owe K-State $3 million before 2021, $2 million in 2021, $1.5 million in 2022 and $1 million after.

K-State will pay $150,000 to North Dakota State to cover his buyout there.

Klieman will also receive several fringe benefits from K-State, including a vehicle stipend of $15,000 per year and $4,000 for car insurance. He will get use of a suite at Snyder Family Stadium, tickets to all basketball games and a membership at Manhattan Country Club.

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Kellis Robinett covers Kansas State athletics for The Wichita Eagle and The Kansas City Star. A winner of more than a dozen national writing awards, he lives in Manhattan with his wife and three children.