The sources said Klein seriously considered leaving and accepting a substantial raise to begin calling offensive plays for the Fighting Irish. At one point, he may have even been leaning toward taking the job. But after returning home from a formal interview in South Bend, Indiana, and weighing all of his options, the pull of home was too strong for him to leave.
Klein played quarterback for the Wildcats and has been a part of their coaching staff for the majority of his professional career. Head coach Chris Klieman gave Klein his big break last year when he promoted Klein from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator. In the end, he felt like remaining in Manhattan was the best choice.
ESPN college football reporter Heather Dinich first reported that Klein was no longer a candidate for the job on Friday morning.
That is big news for the Wildcats.
K-State fans were in panic mode on Thursday when news leaked that Klein had emerged as a potential candidate at Notre Dame. With Klein leading the offense last season, K-State averaged 418.8 yards and 32.3 points per game as the Wildcats had their best season in a decade.
Building off a 10-win season that featured a Big 12 championship is a priority in the Little Apple, and that may have been difficult to accomplish without Klein remaining in charge of the offense.
Sources said Klein was a very hot commodity on the offensive coordinator market this cycle. Not only did Notre Dame have multiple conversations with him, but Alabama and Texas A&M also reached out to express interest in him, according to sources.
Klein is currently making $600,000 a year with the Wildcats. He is under contract until February 28, 2024. Any of those other schools could have more than doubled his salary. Odds are good that K-State will reward him with a big raise for staying loyal to his alma mater and remaining as Klieman’s offensive coordinator.
This story was originally published February 10, 2023, 9:16 AM.
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Kellis Robinett covers Kansas State athletics for The Wichita Eagle and The Kansas City Star. A winner of more than a dozen national writing awards, he lives in Manhattan with his wife and four children.