Chris Klieman enters his second season at North Dakota State and his first as the defensive coordinator. Klieman joined the
Bison coaching staff in March 2011 as defensive backs coach.
NDSU led the
nation in scoring defense (12.73 ppg) and ranked 8th in turnover margin
(+1.20 avg/g), 16th in pass efficiency defense (110.53 rating), 17th in
rushing defense (118.73 avg/g), 19th in sacks (2.67 avg/g) and 20th in total defense (315.93 avg/g). The Bison defense allowed only 27 points in four FCS playoff games. Cornerback Marcus Williams was a consensus All-American, ranked among the national leaders with seven interceptions and scored four TDs including three on defense.
State won the program's first NCAA Football Championship Subdivision
(FCS) national championship on Jan. 7 with a 17-6 win over Sam Houston State. The
Bison completed the season with a 14-1 record including a 7-1 ledger in
winning the Missouri Valley Football
Klieman spent nine
seasons at the University of Northern Iowa as defensive coordinator,
co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach from 2006-10 under head
coach Mark Farley and 1991-93 under then head coach Terry Allen.
As defensive coordinator in 2009, Klieman led a UNI defensive unit
that finished fourth in the nation in scoring defense (13.2 ppg). The
Panthers also led the Missouri Valley Football Conference in rushing
defense, passing defense and total defense, giving up a mere 267.2 yards
per game. UNI held six of its 11 opponents to seven points or less
during the 2009 season.
Under Klieman’s direction as co-defensive
coordinator in 2008, the Panthers ranked No. 4 in the nation in turnover
margin and No. 9 in the nation in scoring defense. The Panthers forced
40 turnovers in 2008, which included 24 interceptions and 16 fumble
In 2007, the Panthers had 11 different players intercept passes. The 11 players tallied a total of 21 interceptions.
first year of his return to coaching the Panthers’ secondary in 2006
was marked by Dre Dokes leading the nation with seven interceptions.
Chris Parsons also tallied six interceptions to finish in a tie for
second in the nation.
He was a three-time all-conference defensive back for the Panthers and a four-year letterwinner from 1986-1990.
came back to his alma mater after serving as the Loras College head
football coach in 2005. Prior to being named the Duhawk head coach,
Klieman served as the Loras defensive coordinator and turned them into
one of the Iowa Conference’s most feared defensive units. When he took
over, the Duhawk defense was ninth in the conference. In 2004, the
defense set a school record for fewest rushing yards allowed and saw
three players earn all-conference honors. The 933 yards allowed on the
ground (93.3 per game) was the top number in the Iowa Conference and was
also 21st overall in NCAA Division III. The 2005 defense led the Iowa
Conference in rush defense (121.4), pass defense (161.0 ypg) and total
After his playing career was over, Klieman served
as an assistant coach for the Panthers from 1991-93. Klieman also had
assistant coaching stints at Loras (2001-2004), Missouri State (1999),
Kansas (1997) and Western Illinois (1994-1996).
both his bachelor’s (health education, 1990) and master’s (physical
education, 1992) degrees from UNI. Chris and his wife, Rhonda, are the
parents of two sons, Devin and Colby and one daughter, Haley.