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Kansas State promotes Collin Klein to offensive coordinator

One of the most beloved players in program history, Klein passed his on-the-job tryout with flying colors in Tuesday night's Texas Bowl.

Kansas State has taken the interim tag off Collin Klein and appointed him his alma mater's full-time offensive coordinator, the program announced Friday.

K-State's quarterbacks coach had an on-the-job tryout over December and January after Chris Kleiman dismissed his offensive coordinator, and childhood friend, Courtney Messingham early last month.

The Texas Bowl was Klein's chance to keep the job on a permanent basis, and he passed with flying colors.

Playing against an admittedly depleted LSU team, K-State put together a dominant performance. The Wildcats opened the game with three straight touchdown drives, and were in position to score all but one drive until the drive that began with 3:15 to play and the team leading 42-14. Klein received the endorsement of his QB and his AD on Tuesday night.

And then Klieman's announcement made it official on Friday.

"Over the course of the last month, Collin displayed the type of leadership and planning that put us in a position to execute and be successful in the bowl game against LSU," Klieman said. "He deserves this opportunity, and the constant dialogue and communication that he had with me and with our staff and players throughout the game and the entire bowl preparation period was something that really impressed me. Collin bleeds purple, and I am excited for him to lead our offense."

The reason everyone in Manhattan rooted so hard for Klein was obvious: his stature within the program stands well beyond his 6-foot-5 frame. 

A three-time captain and a two-year starter at quarterback, Klein powered the Wildcats to the Big 12 championship in 2012, a season in which he threw for 2,646 yards, rushed for 925, and produced 39 total touchdowns. He led the Wildcats to a No. 2 AP ranking in November of that season, the third time that's happened in program history, and finished third in Heisman Trophy voting. 

Klein went 21-5 as K-State's starting quarterback, one of three stretches in program history that saw back-to-back 10-win seasons. Not only did Klein win 21 games, he won them the hard way -- as a battering-ram quarterback. He carried the ball 524 times for 59 touchdowns in 2011-12, while also throwing 585 times for 29 more scores. 

After finishing his career in 2012, Klein joined the coaching staff as a quality control coach in 2014, became a GA in 2015, and then returned in 2017 as quarterbacks coach.

"My family and I are excited to serve in this new role and impact young men through the game of football," Klein said. "I absolutely love our players, staff and fans. We look forward to this challenge and are so thankful to Coach Klieman and our leadership for entrusting me with this responsibility. K-State is and has been a special part of our family, and we are so blessed the Lord has allowed us to continue to be a part of it. Go Cats!"

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.