Kansas State University

Chris Klieman hopes to give K-State fans what they keep asking for in new uniforms

Purple jerseys with white stripes are synonymous with Kansas State football. So are silver pants, silver helmets and the powercat logo.

The Wildcats have worn their classic uniforms so consistently over the past 30 years that it’s difficult to picture them taking the football field dressed in anything else.

Unlike Oregon, Oklahoma State and countless other college football teams that change their look every week, you know exactly what to expect from K-State.

Until now.

Since taking over as K-State football coach six months ago, Chris Klieman has come to expect certain questions whenever he interacts with fans. But one towers above the rest — uniforms.

“That is the biggest question,” Klieman said earlier this week, “not even close.”

Will he change the iconic look Bill Snyder brought to Manhattan in 1989? Will he keep it as the team’s primary uniform while mixing in alternate looks? Should we expect changes this season?

The questions go on and on. He has been peppered with them this month while making stops at Catbacker events across the Sunflower State.

Some answers:

  • He would like to make some small changes to K-State’s uniform next season, but fans won’t see a drastically new look until 2020 at the earliest. Ordering new jerseys from Nike takes time, and it’s too late in the process to make that happen before the season opener on Aug. 31.
  • The Wildcats aren’t going to stop wearing their classic look, but they will start wearing alternate uniforms and mix and match different combinations for special games. North Dakota State rotated through a handful of uniforms when he coached the Bison, and he wants to do the same here.
  • K-State will be careful not to overdo it whenever new uniforms arrive.

“You can do it a couple times,” Klieman said. “I don’t want to do it every other week where you aren’t even sure what your colors are or your designs are. But I think, not only does it make it fresh for the fans and the players and recruiting and all that stuff, I think you have to have variety.

“If there are a couple of alternative looks, whether that is a pant, a jersey or a helmet, it’s a brand new look and you have just changed one thing. I think that is important and I think we will get to that stage.”

Klieman can’t promise any big changes this season, but he is working with K-State equipment managers to see if small tweaks can be made. A different helmet? New pants?

Any change would be noticeable.

K-State’s uniform changes have mostly been too subtle to notice over the years.

The big one came during the three years Ron Prince was coach, when he used uniforms that featured purple pants. Snyder twice broke out white helmets late in his tenure. The Wildcats also once wore camouflage powercats on their helmets to honor the military on Fort Riley Day.

But that’s about it.

Get ready for some more significant uniform changes under Klieman.

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