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Chris Klieman

New KSU football coach on 610 Sports Radio

Jay Binkley
December 18, 2018 - 8:22 am
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Coach Chris Klieman makes his first appearance on 610 Sports Radio:

 

 

He is the 35th coach in Kansas State history:

From K-State Sports:

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State University President Richard Myers and Director of Athletics Gene Taylor introduced Chris Klieman as the 35th head coach in K-State football history on Wednesday at the Vanier Family Football Complex. The press conference was streamed live on K-StateHD.TV (archived here), as well as K-State Athletics’ official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Below is the entire transcript from the formal press conference, as well as quotes from Taylor and select players during breakout sessions following the press conference.


PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES 
RICHARD MYERS, UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT

Opening Statement…

“What a great day to be a Wildcat. Coach Snyder and Sharon, we’re sitting in this room because of you and your legacy. You’ve built K-State football and set the predicate for Chris to be successful and we are forever indebted to you, your coaches, and your family. Thank you very much. Coach Klieman, thank you for coming here, for accepting this offer. Rhonda, Devin, Haley, and Colby, welcome. We know you’ve got some things to clean up in North Dakota, but we can’t wait for you to get here and be part of our family. I think that you know Coach Klieman has undying loyalty from his players and if you looked at the tweets from his meeting with our team last night, he’s got some loyalty there too. They want to get started; they’re eager and that’s obviously a good sign and we know that you will build on this tradition and continue doing it in the right way.

“Gene (Taylor) thank you so much for the process that you conducted in this search. It was a fairly quick process, helped out by (National Football Foundation) Hall of Fame events in New York. My hats off to Gene Taylor and his staff for the integrity that you put into this process, the due diligence you exercised, and I think we’re going to be forever indebted to you and your staff for that. I think I’ll just end with saying one of our 2025 strategic goals is to have a great student athlete experience and when it comes to football that all starts with the head coach and I think we can say it looks like that goal is going to be achieved. We have a lot of work to do of course, but we think that is going to be achieved. Coach [Klieman], Rhonda, family, welcome to our family. I hope you can feel the hugs.”

GENE TAYLOR, DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS

Opening Statement...

“It is a great day, I’m extremely excited. I want to thank everyone for being here. We have some former players here, we have our current players here, I appreciate them being here. We have a lot of staff and coaches, thank you guys for being here and coming out to support this big decision. We have some tremendous supporters of our athletic program here, great members of our Ahearn Fund, and they have helped us with a lot of our facilities and they have brought us to where we are today because of their wonderful support. We have deans in the room, university administrators, cabinet members and that says a lot and I think hopefully a message to the Kliemans about how important our athletic program is and how much it means to them to turn out like this and we thank you all very much.

“I have some other thank yous, clearly President Myers. His leadership and guidance for me throughout this process was immeasurable, for me to be able to lean on him with my thoughts and ideas and who I was talking to and why I was talking to, and to keep me grounded and supportive throughout the whole process. President Myers, thank you very much. Mary Jo, the first lady is here, Mary Jo, thank you for being here. You’re awesome by the way and you are a great first lady. To my family and friends who have helped me through the process who have kept me grounded. I had to bounce a lot of things off them and make sure I was headed in the right direction. I have a wonderful wife, Cathy, who is here and a tremendous family and group of friends that I could talk to and visit with as well.

“Kenny Lannou and Jill Shields, I tell you what they were rockstars. Throughout the process they were in every interview. We huddled after each interview. We talked a great deal. I leaned on them significantly to get their opinion. They challenged me significantly throughout the process about why I wanted to go a certain direction or why I liked a candidate or why they liked a candidate; so I really appreciate Kenny and Jill very much, they were phenomenal. Ventura Partners was the search firm we used. Chad Chatlos is a long-time friend of mine. He played football at the Naval Academy when I was there, he did a tremendous job, kind of guiding us. What I want you to know is that search firms don’t make those decisions, we talk to them. We said here is what we are looking for in a football coach, these are the kind of the qualities we are looking for. Help us find some guys that are interested that we can talk to, and they did a tremendous job.

“My senior staff, a tremendous group of senior associate athletic directors and associate athletic directors. As I came toward the end of my decision, we huddled in the room and had some heavy conversations about what direction we should go. They challenged me a great deal, and I appreciate that challenge. I appreciated them making sure I knew what I was doing. It wasn’t a yes Gene, whatever you want kind of conversation. We only get better as a department if we have the kind of people that I get to work with every day that are going to force me into making decisions or question me at why I want to do something. At the end of the day, they supported it and I just thank them very much.

“Coach (Snyder), your support throughout this process has been phenomenal. Your input was invaluable, I thank you very much and I thank everything you have done for the program, and I couldn’t have done it without your input, thank you very much.

“I also had a lot of advisors throughout the process. I want to thank all of our fans. I’m still going through my emails. I have about 300 or so, I’m down about 120. Most of them started out not quite in favor of the decision and we are getting better. I have a lot of guys say, ‘Hey, by the way, the email I sent you the other day, can I pull that back?’ and I’m like, ‘Absolutely I’d be happy to.’ In this position, you have a lot of advisors. What I love about it is our fans’ passion. They love this place, and they care a great deal. That is what makes K-State special. We have a fanbase that loves being here, and they want the right thing for our program. Whether it’s football or any of our other sports, they are going to let us know. Sometimes we don’t always agree with their opinion, but they do it because they care, and at the end of the day they support K-State, and we couldn’t be anywhere without our fan base.

“Now I want to introduce Rhonda, Devin, Colby and Haley. What we are getting with Chris is a tremendous family and tremendous supporters. You are going to love them. My wife has already shown Rhonda what house she needs to buy. But they are a tremendous family, and they are going to be fun to get to know. Haley is a junior in high school and plays volleyball. Colby is an eighth grader and Devon is a junior at North Dakota State and soon to probably be a senior at Kansas State at some point. Rhonda if you’d like to come up, I’d like to give you a little something and welcome you to the K-State family.

“Before I officially introduce Coach Klieman, I want to tell you why I like the guy. I hired him at North Dakota State to take over Craig Bohl’s position after he won three National Championships. I didn’t get a chance to work with him, so I’m just putting this out there, I hope I get to work with him a little longer than I did at North Dakota State. One of the reasons I like Chris is I looked him in the eye and asked, ‘Why do you want to replace Coach Bohl? He just won three national championships. The expectation at North Dakota State at the time wasn’t anything less than a National Championship. If you go 8-3 and get into the playoffs, that’s not going to be a good thing. He looked at me in the eye and said, ‘Gene, we are not only going to win another National Championship, I’m going to win a lot more National Championships.’ That’s pretty brazen, I’ll give him that. But he backed it up.

“So, Coach Klieman, between his assistant time and head coach time, has been part of six National Championships in seven years. He has won three out of four in his time there. I can’t tell you how difficult that is to do. I don’t care what level you play football at. To be able to maintain that success, to maintain that championship level, to maintain that level of greatness is very difficult. He does it the right way with character. He does it the way treating his student athletes the best way they can be. He loves them. He challenges them, and he builds them into champions, and he does it the right way. And I watched him do it from afar and I watched him do it as an assistant. Because I knew North Dakota State and because I knew what Kansas State was about in terms of culture and in terms of what we believe in and what drove us to be successful in the right way, I knew he would be a fit. And to me, at the end of the day, it is all about fit. Are they going to be here, are they going to understand the legacy of what he is undertaking by replacing Coach Snyder? And he gets it. So, I can’t tell you how proud I am to introduce to you our 35th football coach, Coach Chris Klieman.”

CHRIS KLIEMAN, HEAD FOOTBALL COACH

Opening Statement...

“I cannot tell you how excited I am. I am losing my voice, I am that excited. Thank you, President Myers for the conversation that we had over the weekend and for trusting me with Gene to get this job done. I am really excited about the challenge. To Kenny (Lannou) and Jill (Shields): thank you so much. I loved getting to know you and appreciated the time we spent. You are right, I think you did challenge Gene, and that was good. I am excited to work with you moving forward. Gene Taylor and I have a long relationship and have known each other since 2011. I have been around him, I trust him, and I love him. I know he is going to challenge me, but I cannot thank him enough for taking another opportunity and taking another chance on me. When I was going to become the head coach at North Dakota State I had only been a defensive coordinator. But I learned an awful lot in my different experiences that I thought would enable me to have success with a group of people. You are never going to hear me in a press conference ever say ‘I’. It is always about ‘us’, ‘we’, and ‘our’. That is what I am. That is what I am about – doing it together. I cannot wait to do this with you, Gene, and I appreciate everything.

“Coach Snyder: A lot of people know this now because it has been out there a little bit, but I have looked up to Coach Snyder since the early ‘80s, when I was growing up in Waterloo, Iowa. I was an undersized quarterback and Coach was working for Hayden Fry with the University of Iowa. I would go attend his camps, stand in the quarterback line, spin it around and get talked to a little bit. I followed him there and obviously followed him when he came to Kansas State. I had a great opportunity to compete against him as a defensive coordinator a few years back. We still watch a lot of what they did offensively and defensively at North Dakota State to continue to get schemes. I know the shoes that I had to fill, Coach. You are a legend and an icon. I look up to you and I am going to continue to ask you questions. I am going to continue to bounce ideas off you because you are Kansas State football. I am so excited to continue on in your legacy and I am going to make you proud, Coach. I promise you that. Sean, we have had some great conversations just in the last couple of days. I cannot wait to work with you. You are a fabric of this institution and a fabric of Kansas State. I look forward to getting to know you better and better.

“My family: Thank you, Rhonda, Devin, Haley, Colby. My youngest one is so jacked because he is out of school today. It was a day for him to be out of school so he is excited, but I know they are really excited about coming to Manhattan and to Kansas State.

“It has been a fun road. It has been a stressful road in the fact I am the head coach of two programs right now. We still have some work to do at North Dakota State. Part of the reason that I am here is because of the support I have from the players and administration at North Dakota State. I told the players this last night – I love every one of those kids back there. There are 110 kids back at North Dakota State that I love. I have 24 seniors that I brought on campus either four or five years ago that I have told how much I love them. We still have work to do and we have a journey that we are still working on. We play in a game on Friday night and they gave me their unwavering support, saying, ‘Coach, this is a great opportunity. It is an opportunity you have earned. We love you. Go do what you do for today and then come back and let’s get ready to go to practice on Thursday.’ I told the players that they would not have it any other way. I told the players at Kansas State that, as well. I would not have it any other way because I will always have your back. I will always have your back as a player of mine. I am excited to go back to battle with those guys later on this afternoon as we prepare to continue on with our playoff run.

“It is privilege to be the head coach of Kansas State. It is a privilege to get to know the former players. I want you back into our program. You have always been in our program, but I want you around. I want you guys to be up in the offices. I want you to be able to come to practice. I want you to address the team. We do this as coaches and current players to carry on the legacy of what you guys have done. You guys have put the jersey on, you have laid the foundation with the coaches for the success that we are having and for all the great facilities we have. I am a huge former-player guy. I cannot wait to meet you. I cannot wait to spend some time with you and bounce ideas off you because this is your place. This is your institution, and I am just here to keep moving and steering this thing in the right direction and continue to improve.

“I mentioned to the guys last night that this program is in really good shape. This program is in really good shape and it is a credit to Coach Snyder, the staff and the current players. My goal is this: to challenge every one of those guys to win every day. Compete and win each day. Whether that is in the academic world and classroom, whether that is on the football field, socially, whether it is strength and conditioning, you win every dang day. You challenge each other to be great. Challenge each other to leave their comfort zone. Challenge each other to see how great we can be and hold each other to the high standard that is Kansas State football. We do have a high standard here, and we are going to continue to uphold that high standard with high character, high quality, tough, physical football players. I am so excited to be here. I cannot wait to meet all of you and work with all of you. I appreciate everything. Go Cats!”

On how different the facilities looked from when he was an opposing player to an opposing coach…

“A lot of things have changed in college football from 1989 to 2013, which is the year we were back here. This is a great fanbase. It is a phenomenal fanbase and I am excited. I remember walking down the tunnel in 2013 as a defensive coordinator going, ‘What kind of hornet’s nest did we get ourselves into?’ It was loud, it was raucous, and it was about 106 degrees that day. It has continued to foster and grow under Coach Snyder’s leadership. I see what the fruits of the last years. In 2013, not everything was done. More and more things are being put in the infrastructure with facilities, and I cannot wait to be able to get involved and use them.”

On his “win the dang day” phrase…

“I have a great friend and performance coach that has been a part of my life for five years. A guy by the name of Ben Newman that the current players are going to get to know really well. Ben works with a lot of our players at North Dakota State and it is one of his mantras. Ben has been a huge influence and had a huge impact on my life. I believe this – you are only guaranteed today. You are only guaranteed today. Give everything you can today for yourself and for the guy next to you. If you do that in all aspects of your life, you are going to have a heck of a day. If you do that in all aspects of your life, you are going to be able to be successful in order to get to the next day to win tomorrow. We have always talked about, ‘I am a 1-0 for the day guy.’ If you go 1-0 for the day and you stack those Monday through Friday, you have a chance to go 1-0 on Saturday. That is kind of what we do.”

On taking over an FBS program at a Power Five level…

“It is a dream job of mine to be able to coach at a Power Five school and I found the right fit at Kansas State. Gene is right – for me, it is all about fit and I think this is a phenomenal fit here, to come from North Dakota State to Kansas State. I think the programs and communities are very similar. The fan bases are very similar. For starters, I think football is football. If you look at what we have done over the last eight years that I have been there and beating some Power 5 schools, you do not need the five-star kid all the time. You need kids that buy in. You need kids that can be developed. You need kids that have great character, great leadership and that hold each other accountable. I am excited about the extra scholarships. Going from 63 to 85 is going to help. I am excited about the extra resources. But make no mistake, when you put it between the lines, nobody is going to look across from that guy and say, ‘He was more heavily recruited than I was’. Who is going to win that one-on-one battle? We have recruited at North Dakota State against Power Fives and Group of Fives all the time. If you do your due-diligence in recruiting and attack recruiting, and I think our staff at North Dakota State did a great job of that, what we will do here at Kansas State is pound the pavement. Get out there, get around recruits, be in our footprint and continue to contact those guys. You have to build relationships. That is all recruiting is – building relationships and building trust. I am excited to move forward and do that.”

On recruiting in Texas and Oklahoma…

“Well, we will find some guys that have some really good ties to those areas, and I already have a number of guys in my mind. The people of Frisco (Texas) just know what North Dakota State football is. We’ve set up shop there a number of years. I think that the style of football, that is going to be Kansas State, the physical toughness. Make no mistake, I know from an alumni base that the Kansas City area, the Dallas area, Houston area are huge areas. And we are going to tackle those.”

On what he wanted to convey to the team during his introduction…

“Just the fact that I’m going to be here, I’m going to have their back, I’m going to challenge the heck out of them, I’m going to love them, but I’m going to challenge them. Ask them to be accountable, hold them to the highest standard. It’s gotta come from within, you have to play for the guy next to you. You have to want to do it for your brother, you have to do it for the name on the front of the jersey, not the back of the jersey. That’s what’s been done here. That’s what I’m saying, that’s what I’m trying to say that I am going to continue doing that and hope you guys have the accountability to each other.” 

On his succession of Bill Snyder…

“Well it means the world to me to have the Snyder family here because I think it shows a sign of respect that, like what Gene said, what we have done at a previous institution is really hard to do. And for us, I don’t know, what are we, 110-67 in eight years? We are 67-6 in the last five years. Winning football games is a hard, guys. People don’t realize how hard it is to win a football game. I’m so appreciative of the Snyder family being here, and I can’t wait to work with them. I hit in the opening comments that I am following a legend, an icon that I have so much respect and admiration for. It’s one of the reasons I am in this business. I’m so excited to get to know them better and foster and build those relationships because I need their help.”

On the burden of succeeding Coach Snyder…

“No, not when you have great people like they are. People of high character. I know they’re going to help me. I know this, players play for coaches that care, coaches coach for coaches that care. If you care, and I know they care about this institution, they’re going to help me. And I’m so excited that to continue that run with them.”

On coaching two programs at once…

“Well, that’s coaching in general. Any coach has been there and any coach in any sport knows that you multitask. Because I care about both places, I’ll pay attention to both places. It’s pretty simple. When I head back, I’ve got practice tonight and I will make a few phone calls late at night for Kansas State. I’ll turn my attention back on Thursday to the football team at North Dakota State, then on Friday from 7 to 10:30, nobody call me. I’ve got a lot of things going on and we got a football game to play. Other than that, we’ve got a lot of cool things at North Dakota State. There’s 18 seniors graduating at 2 o’clock on Friday. Then our pregame starts at 3. That’s pretty cool. So I’ve pushed them to the front of the line, which has been good because we have won enough games to do that. Push them up to the front of the line, get them out of there, pregame and go tee it up. From a recruiting standpoint, this is the last weekend to recruit, so I will be out for Kansas State this weekend, looking and recruiting. Once the dead period ends, it’s pretty easy to handle both of them.”

On comparing his current to situation to when Craig Bohl left NDSU for Wyoming...

“Well, I’ve seen that done. Obviously, it’s not one individual. It’s a collective group of people, with great administrative support both here and there. If you have people that are supportive, in the high-ranking areas, you are going to be successful. I saw Craig do it and he was successful, and I’ve seen other coaches do it too. I’m not a micromanager guys, I got coaches that are working their tails off, getting ready for practice. Players know that coaches are working. There will not be an issue, it will not be a distraction, there are unbelievable seniors that won’t let it happen because they want to play with each other one more time. “

On announcing a staff…

“Obviously I do have names in mind and I’m going to talk to everyone on the staff. You know I have been in this profession for a long time, I have a lot of friends and acquaintances and colleagues that I know. I’m going to do my due diligence, and make sure it’s a good fit. Someone can be a great coach, but still, are they the right fit? We would start filling in some of those needs within the next week.”

 

On people doubting the transition from FCS to FBS…

“Well, football is football. And I think once you get 11 guys on either side of the ball, you can have great success. I know that it’s going to be talked about. It’s going to be talked about, I get that. Carson Wentz, I think he played in the FCS, he’s a pretty dog gone good quarterback, I would’ve liked to have him. It’s about evaluating and getting the guys to buy in and play whatever level you’re at. I know that proof is going to be in the pudding. We are going to be successful.”

On the importance of a fanbase when taking a new job...

“Boy, it was really important. And that’s a great point. Many NDSU fans traveled and K-State fans to do the same thing. It was imperative that I found a fit where the community was all in. And we all watch, everybody watches college football, and sees games any night of the week and sees empty stadiums. You don’t see an empty stadium at North Dakota State, and you don’t see one at Kansas State. That was a big fit for me. I am so excited to run out on that field and into that fanbase. I can’t wait to meet all of them, too.”

GENE TAYLOR, DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS (Breakout Session)

On giving input for hiring assistant coaches…

“I don’t and I never would. What I will do is give him my evaluation of our current assistants and what I think of them as he goes through the process. But I’m not going to say, ‘You need to hire this guy or that guy.’ Now, if he were going to bring someone in that I just didn’t think would be a good fit here, I would let him know that. But until he gets into that process, other than saying, ‘Hey, I encourage you to meet with everyone on our staff,’ which he’s going to do, I’m not going to tell him to hire a specific person.”

On what he witnessed at team meeting the night before…

“What I witnessed was a really focused group of football players. I would not say they hung on every word, but they pretty much hung on every word. I think they felt the energy, they felt the passion, and I think based on my reaction from the players, this morning, as I saw them, they really enjoy what he’s going to bring.”

On rumors of hiring new coach during the process…

“That’s kind of a challenge, dealing with the rumors that get out there that are not true. That’s where the search firm comes in really handy. He can stay in contact with their agents and give the agents the real story of what’s going on. We really weren’t concerned because we were able to stay in contact with him. Fortunately for him, he was pretty focused on coaching North Dakota State. That’s why you’ve got to be careful what gets put out there, less than half could be actually accurate. This is why the search firm was really good. I could say, ‘Hey, make sure you’re talking to this guy and that guy.’”

On Sean Snyder being a part of official staff…

“I don’t know. They met with some of the guys. That’s what Chris did this morning is meet with guys. I don’t know where he is with the evaluation, so I’ll have to ask him.”


On former Head Coach Bill Snyder’s ambassador role…

“We do not know yet exactly what the ambassador role for him is going to be. It is going to probably be a little bit in athletics and a lot in leadership studies, then anything else maybe from a donor perspective. The buyout is just something I wanted to do. He deserves it for everything he has done. It is not really a buyout. He left a lot on the table and I wanted to take care of him. He is going to get his $3 million, and he deserves every penny of it because of what he did for this program. I am absolutely happy to do it.”

On former Head Coach Bill Snyder’s stepping away from his duties…

“He has been phenomenal. I imagine if you really drilled down, he would say it has been hard. It is just hard to walk away from something you have built. I know how hard it was to walk away from North Dakota State. It is very hard to walk away from something you have loved. I’m sure it has not been easy, but he has been phenomenal while being very helpful to me and supportive. I wouldn’t expect anything less.”

On if he had Chris Klieman’s name in his mind when he first took the job…

“It was in the back of my mind. I knew there were going to be a lot of other coaches that I would talk to. Just watching him coach and what he has accomplished, I knew he would be a strong candidate. We put him up against a lot of good candidates and he still rose to the top.”

DENZEL GOOLSBY, JUNIOR DEFENSIVE BACK

On his reaction to Coach Klieman’s hire…

“It has been incredible feeling – all the energy in the building, hearing the reactions from teammates after we got to come in and meet our head coach finally. It was just an awesome moment just being able to finally meet the man that’s going to build from here on out, and I am honored to be a senior here on the team and to be here during this change. I’m excited about the future.”

On what he is most excited for….

“Just his approach is going to be very energetic and he is a hands-on coach he is a players’ coach. We are all very excited to have a guy like he says that will always have our backs, who loves us and we will always go to work for that.”

On Coach Klieman’s conversion last night……

“Just coming in and wanting our trust. I think that is the biggest thing for us. He’s just waiting buy in and – not that we have any guys on the team that I think will be standoffish – but if can all be in right from the get-go and just be able to come together and trust his plan not have to wait and see and feel things out. That will be the biggest step for us and I think we will do that.”

On the biggest thing that resonated with everyone last night….

“I think his energy, and that’s probably just the age difference. You know he came in fired up and it probably gave a lot of chills. I know it gave me chills and the guys are just excited to have a coach like that and I think he is a great fit and the athletic staff thinks he is a great fit. So, we are definitely very excited about it.”

SKYLAR THOMPSON, SOPHOMORE QUARTERBACK

On Coach Klieman’s message to the team...

“Just by the way that he has talked to us, you can tell that he really cares about us already and he really wants what is best for us and wants us to be happy, which is really important to establish that on the first day. As a player, like I have said many times, I am just super excited to have the opportunity to play for him and I’m eager to find out who our offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach will be and who I will be working with.”

On the team atmosphere when meeting with Coach...

“Everybody was on their toes and wanting to jump out of their seats because he provided a really good spark for our football team right off the bat and our whole team is already on board. As a player, you want to play for someone that wants to win championships. I’m not saying that Coach Snyder wasn’t like that, I’m just saying for Coach (Klieman) to reiterate that on the first day and make that important, it really sticks out to us players.”

On buying in to the coaching philosophy...

“Trust me, the past couple of days I have done as much research and watched the videos of Carson Wentz, I’ve done everything as much as trying to get a grasp up what they do up there and how they utilize their quarterbacks. It’s such a rich tradition up there of power run game and that’s kind of what we do here. I also noticed that he utilizes his quarterbacks to what their abilities are. If you can throw the football, they will throw the football, or if he’s more of a runner, then he’s a runner. I think that sticks out to me the most. I’m really excited and eager to find out who our offensive coordinator is going to be and what type of offensive we are going to be running.”

On playing for a coach who coached a quarterback in the NFL…

“If you’re any kid, a 17 or 18-year old getting recruited, it’s a sales pitch for sure, just how well he has developed quarterbacks and especially a guy like Carson Wentz. That’s a guy that I watched at North Dakota State and that we talked about. He’s an FCS quarterback, but he was one of the top draft picks in the NFL Draft. That’s what sticks out to me the most, that he knows talent, no matter how many stars you have, and he can develop talent to fit his mold and develop them to the next level. As a football player that is every kid’s dream. That’s my dream since I’ve known what football is, to play football in the NFL. If I ever have the opportunity, I will be super excited, more so on the fact that he understands the game so well and can develop players. I am just excited to be a part of that and get to work.”

On what “win the dang day” means to him...

“I think, no matter what is taking place, no matter what is going on in your life, highs, lows, this life that we live is not easy, especially as a college football player and college student. It can take a toll on you sometimes. Sometimes you lose track of yourself and sometimes you lose track of your faith, and I think it’s really important that what he stated in winning the dang day. That’s what it comes down to. It’s really similar to what Coach Snyder says in being 1-0 every day. You do that over the course of a couple months, by that third month you’re going to be pretty dang good. I think by him saying that it really rubbed off on me in that fact. I just think it’s really important that he stated that we’re going to win here and we’re not rebuilding or nothing, we’re going to win from day one and that’s what important. Coming from my background, that’s how my parents raised me, to win in everything I do, whether it’s in the classroom or on the football field, basketball court, whatever I was doing, I was raised to win. I want to win so bad. Whenever I have a conversation with Coach Klieman, that’s the first thing that I am going to say is how bad I want to win, and I am all in. I am bought into everything that you’ve said. I want what’s best for this team at all times. I am really excited to get to know him more and am so stoked to have everyone else here today and what we got a taste of last night. I think that it’s such a great hire for our football team. So many people questioned Gene (Taylor) and all those other things, you know, through this process as a player it has been rough. I mean, we don’t have a coach for a week and we’re all scrambling. People are saying everything on Twitter, and people can say what they say, but we follow that stuff and want to find out. So, it has been exhausting but the more I am listening and around this guy, he’s the perfect fit for K-State and this fan base should be super excited about him.”

ADAM HOLTORF, JUNIOR OFFENSIVE LINEMAN

On reaching out to North Dakota State players to learn more about Klieman’s coaching philosophy...

“I’m sure people have. On social media that stuff happens. I don’t know anybody personally up there, but I am sure some guys do.”

On Coach Klieman’s meeting with the team on Tuesday...

“There was a lot of energy, a lot of excitement in the room last night. I can’t wait to get to know him better and continue to build that relationship with him and get started come January.”

On Coach Klieman’s ability to develop talent...

“There’s not a better example than Carson Wentz. Being from Nebraska, I know that there’s been a few Nebraska kids that went on to North Dakota State and they built them from small schools in Nebraska to guys who have made training camps in the NFL and gone on to make NFL rosters. So, you know there are examples that I have seen there, too, just in the area of Nebraska that I am from. It’s extremely exciting to get a coach like that who undoubtedly will grow players into NFL caliber guys.”

JUSTIN HUGHES, JUNIOR LINEBACKER

On the difference between Coach Klieman and Coach Snyder…

“Coach K just has a different vibe than Coach Snyder, just more sociable, I guess. Coach Snyder is more about his ethics, his morals. Coach K is more about the players and getting to know how we feel about stuff and accepting our input, our thoughts and ideas. So, we’re ready to get him back from North Dakota State whenever they finish their playoffs. Good luck to those boys. We’re just excited to get him back and get to work with him.”

On being able to ask Coach Klieman questions during the players meeting…

“It means a lot. It means he’s willing to come in here and not just take over but to learn as well. A good way to learn is to know what your players want and ask them. Everyone gave their input, asked their questions, and asked about how he felt. He’s willing to accept those things and we came to a common ground on all of them.”

On buying in to Coach Klieman…

“I don’t think it’s going to be hard at all. From the guys we got, we’ve had a great coaching staff under Coach Snyder and we’ve already bought into his ways, so it won’t be hard for us to come in and adjust to this new guy. Come in and accept his rules and accept his encouragement and everything else and just get to work. We’re excited about being a better team this year. I know we didn’t have a great season that we wanted to. We’re ready to come in and work and have an even better season and give Coach K a great welcome.”

On rooting for North Dakota State in the playoffs…

“We’re rooting for those guys, we’re rooting for Coach K. I even watched the game they played against Colgate just to see how Coach K reacts on the sidelines when guys mess up or when they’re doing good. I like what I saw on the film and what I saw on the TV. I’m excited to play for a guy like that.”

On ‘win the dang day’...

“It means go out every single day like it’s your last. To me, it means going out there and fighting in every situation in life. I thought about it all day today with finals going on and workouts going on. I took each and every rep in the weight room, I was telling my guys win the dang day. We were talking about reps at that point, each and every guy, don’t think about the next rep, think about the rep that you’re on right now. We’re going to take it and build off of it and build as a team.”

 

**For the latest Kansas State news keep it here at 610sports.com.

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