The Kansas State football team is about to lose its most recognizable graduate assistant.
Collin Klein, a former star quarterback for the Wildcats, is expected to depart K-State and accept a job coaching quarterbacks at Northern Iowa, according to two persons with knowledge of the move.
An announcement is expected in the coming days, they said, but Northern Iowa spokesperson Jordan Lindley said nothing was official when reached Monday.
“As of now, Collin Klein is not a part of the UNI football coaching staff for the 2016 season,” she wrote in an email.
Attempts to reach Klein were not successful.
Klein has helped K-State coach Bill Snyder and his coaching staff in each of the past two seasons, most recently as an offensive graduate assistant. Klein served as an assistant director of recruiting and defensive quality control coach in his first year.
Regardless of title, Klein spent both seasons on the K-State sidelines advising quarterbacks. With co-offensive coordinators Dana Dimel and Del Miller coaching from the press box, Klein was often the first face K-State quarterbacks encountered as they exited the field.
Klein helped Jake Waters throw for a school-record 3,501 yards as a senior in 2014. Last year, he passed his knowledge onto a string of quarterbacks, as the Wildcats battled injuries at the position all season.
Waters and K-State’s current quarterbacks often praised Klein for his help on and off the field. He was also a key factor in recruiting when prospects visited Manhattan.
Klein will become a full-time assistant for the first time at Northern Iowa, a FCS playoff regular. He will replace former Panthers quarterbacks coach Joe Davis, who left for Fordham after one season.
K-State fans remember Klein best for his days as a quarterback. He went 21-5 in two seasons as a full-time starter and he captained one of the best teams in school history.
As a senior in 2012, Klein led K-State to an 11-2 record and a Big 12 championship. The Wildcats won their first 10 games that season, climbing to the top of the BCS rankings before a late loss to Baylor. They ended the season in the Fiesta Bowl.
Klein also finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting and won the Johnny Unitas Award.
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett