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Klieman says he has not been contacted about Minnesota job

FARGO--It appears you can cross North Dakota State head football coach Chris Klieman off the list of reported candidates to be the next head coach at the University of Minnesota. Klieman said Wednesday, Jan. 4, he has not been contacted by the Go...

NDSU head coach Chris Klieman played footbal and was an assistant coach at Northern Iowa. Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 17, 2016; Iowa City, IA, USA; North Dakota State Bison head coach Chris Klieman celebrates after the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium. North Dakota State won 23-21. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

FARGO-It appears you can cross North Dakota State head football coach Chris Klieman off the list of reported candidates to be the next head coach at the University of Minnesota. Klieman said Wednesday, Jan. 4, he has not been contacted by the Gophers.

NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen also said nobody has contacted him about Klieman. Speculation heightened on Tuesday when ESPN named Klieman as a potential coach the Gophers may target to replace Tracy Claeys, who was fired Tuesday.

"When other people think highly of him, that doesn't surprise me," Larsen said. "He's an unbelievable coach and unbelievable person."

Connecting an NDSU coach to an opening at Minnesota is nothing new. Former Bison head coach Craig Bohl interviewed for the Minnesota position after the 2006 and 2010 seasons, but the Gophers hired Tim Brewster in '07 and Jerry Kill prior to the 2011 season after Brewster went 15-30 in four years.

Claeys was promoted from within when Kill resigned citing health reasons seven games into the 2015 season.

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The connection to Minnesota this time is with Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle, who went to high school with Klieman at Waterloo (Iowa) Columbus.

Klieman, who just finished his third year as the Bison head coach, has a 40-5 overall record with two FCS national championships and a semifinal appearance this season. Larsen, when asked if he expects Klieman to be contacted with that kind of success, said it's a fact of life in college athletics.

"I think you see that all around the country," he said. "I see coaches that have success that are constantly sought after. I've seen it at North Dakota State in a number of sports."

Klieman signed a six-year contract last spring that carries a base salary of $300,000 this season with an additional $90,000 in media and appearance fees. His buyout before Jan. 15 would be $300,000, although that would drop to $150,000 after Jan. 15.

Claeys, who signed a three-year, $4.5 million contract in November of 2015, had a buyout of $500,000. Bohl, who recently signed a contract extension at Wyoming, has a buyout of $6.5 million this year.

Related Topics: FOOTBALLCHRIS KLIEMAN
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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