Kansas State University

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

Chris Klieman is introduced as the new football coach at Kansas State

Chris Kleiman was introduced as the 35th football coach of the Kansas State Wildcats on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2018, replacing Bill Snyder, who had coached the Wildcats for 27 years.
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Chris Kleiman was introduced as the 35th football coach of the Kansas State Wildcats on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2018, replacing Bill Snyder, who had coached the Wildcats for 27 years.

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.

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