COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NDSU extends Klieman’s contract

FARGO -- North Dakota State added two more years to the contract of head football coach Chris Klieman that takes the agreement through the 2020 season.

Chris Klieman

FARGO -- North Dakota State added two more years to the contract of head football coach Chris Klieman that takes the agreement through the 2020 season.

Klieman finished his first season at NDSU with a 15-1 record, and the school’s fourth straight FCS national title. Klieman signed a five-year contract last year at a base salary of $261,177 that included appearance and media fees that brought the deal to $326,000. His bonuses – $10,000 for a Missouri Valley Football Conference title, $15,000 for three FCS playoff home games and $15,000 for the title – made his contract worth more than $366,000 this season.

“Chris understands the culture of Bison football and what it takes to continue the program’s high level of success,” said NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen. “The excitement around the football program has never been greater and I look forward to having Chris and his family in Fargo for the long term.”

Like all coaching contracts, it’s still possible for Klieman to leave to another school via a buyout. In this case, it would cost Klieman, or another school if it paid it, his base salary of at least $261,000 until January of 2017. It would be reduced to $150,000 yearly hereafter.

The buyout for Craig Bohl when he left for the University of Wyoming last year was $100,000.


In a statement, Klieman thanked Larsen and NDSU President Dean Bresciani.

“I’m excited to continue to build on the great tradition of Bison football,” he said. “My family enjoys being in Fargo and I am extremely thankful for how this community has embraced my family and me.”

The amendment to his contract includes the rewording of a media appearance fee, which increases incrementally from $45,000 this year to $70,000 in 2020. If he is still the Bison coach in 2020, his base salary, plus extras like the media fee, speaking fees and summer camp would be at least $429,984. That’s assuming a “minimum” 4 percent annual raise as the contract states. It could be more.

Klieman has a longevity bonus clause in his contract that pays him $50,000 if he is still the head coach on Jan. 5, 2019.

Meanwhile, Klieman was named the American Football Monthly/Rawlings Football FCS Coach of the Year. Ohio State’s Urban Meyer was the FBS winner.

Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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