2016 Purdue Football Coaching Search Favorites: #4 Chris Klieman
Overall Rank: #4
Category: BS Favorites
Who Is He?
Destroyer-of-worlds, North Dakota State Head Coach Chris Klieman.
Why would he be successful at Purdue?
36-11 overall as a head coach at NDSU. 8-0 in the playoffs. Has more wins over FBS-ranked opponents in the past three years than Purdue (they beat then-13th Iowa this season.) Simply put, his teams scored a crap load of points, they have a defined scheme and they execute so well.
They’re a tough, disciplined team, and that is nothing but a solid reflection upon their coach. Prior to being the head coach, he was the defensive coordinator, so he’s got a great balance of offense and defense and the ability to kick the crap out of anybody.
One might draw some parallels between him and Tiller, who was a defensive coach who scored a bunch of points at a smaller school before being hired by Purdue. That was a risky hire that panned out, and Klieman might prove to be the same in West Lafayette.
Why could he flop at Purdue?
You know how the New England Patriots have been a really good football team for many years, but no one has been able to leave NE and be successful? NDSU is such a well-oiled machine with such a distinct culture that you have to wonder how that translates to a different school. For as long as they've existed, NDSU has been a football powerhouse that has won each of the last FIVE FCS Championships and 32 total conference titles, so it might just be something in the Fargo air.
Also, recruiting for an FCS-type program is much different than recruiting for the Big 10. Does he have the skills to do that? Can he learn? There’s a lot of questions there, and without him making the jump to a smaller program first - like his predecessor did when he left to go to Wyoming - it’s hard to evaluate the likelihood of his success.
Would he come to Purdue?
Purdue might not be the only school interested in him after this season. It’s a big jump from a FCS school to a P5 program, but if Purdue is willing to take that (significant) risk, then Klieman will probably be amenable to making $3M-ish.