MANHATTAN, Kan. – The 2019 Kansas State football coaching staff grew by four on Saturday as head coach Chris Klieman announced the names of assistant coaches who will be coming to Manhattan from North Dakota State following the Bison’s bid for a seventh national championship in the last eight seasons.
The additions to the K-State staff include offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Courtney Messingham, offensive line coach Conor Riley, wide receivers coach Jason Ray and safeties coach Joe Klanderman.
“I am thrilled that Courtney, Conor, Jason and Joe will be joining our staff at K-State,” Klieman said. “Our offensive philosophy at NDSU is similar in schematics to what K-State has been so successful at doing under Coach Snyder, which is a balanced attack built around a power run game and getting our playmakers the ball. Courtney and Jason bring Big 12 experience to the staff, while Conor is one of the top offensive line coaches in the country.
“On defense, I have worked alongside Joe for a long time and have so much respect for him as a coach – he is one of the best secondary coaches in our profession. These guys are all winners and I am excited for them to be Wildcats.”
Messingham is a 29-year coaching veteran who has served as a coordinator at multiple stops in addition to coaching virtually every offensive position. Leading the charge of NDSU’s offense the last two seasons, Messingham’s offenses have ranked in the top 10 nationally in scoring offense both years, helping the Bison go 28-1 with a national championship and a chance for another on January 5.
Messingham, a native of Waterloo, Iowa, and teammate of Klieman’s at Northern Iowa, has spent a majority of his coaching career in the Midwest, working at Truman State (1995-98), Missouri State (1999-2002, 2008) and Iowa State (2009-13). He was the Cyclones’ offensive coordinator in 2012 and 2013, leading ISU to a school record in touchdown passes the first year, a season that also saw the Cyclones set top-five single-season marks in school history in five different categories.
A majority of North Dakota State’s offensive yards the past two seasons under Messingham have come on the ground thanks to the superior coaching of Riley, who is finishing his sixth season with the Bison in 2018. The Bison have averaged at least 235 yards per game in each of Riley’s six years, including a current highwater mark of 285.9 yards per game in 2018. Riley’s lines have also finished highly in fewest sacks allowed, ranking 10th nationally in 2016 and eighth thus far in 2018.
A product of Omaha, Nebraska, Riley began his full-time coaching career at Concordia University (Minnesota) in 2006 before moving back to his alma mater, Nebraska Omaha, for the 2007 through 2010 seasons. He also coached the offensive line at Sacramento State in 2011 and 2012 prior to his stint at NDSU.
Ray is no stranger to the Big 12 as he played wide receiver at Missouri (2003-07) and coached receivers and kick returners at Oklahoma State in 2013 and 2014. The 2018 season was his lone campaign at North Dakota State, helping the Bison rank sixth in the nation in scoring offense (41.7 points per game), 10th in passing yards per completion (15.48) and second in passing efficiency (169.72).
Ray began his coaching career at Wyoming, tutoring the Cowboys’ running backs from 2009 and 2012. Following his stint in Stillwater and prior to joining the NDSU staff, Ray spent three seasons tutoring wide receivers at Missouri Valley Football Conference foes Northern Iowa (2015) and Missouri State (2016-17).
A five-year member of Klieman’s staff at North Dakota State, Klanderman’s defensive backs have helped the Bison rank in the top five in interceptions four times, including a No. 3 ranking last season and a No. 2 mark in this season. He has coached a trio of All-America safeties in addition to multiple all-conference performers.
Klanderman went to NDSU after spending 12 years on staff at his alma mater, Minnesota State. He began coaching in 2002 by working with the defensive line and coached the defensive backs beginning in 2005. Klanderman took over as defensive coordinator and worked with the linebackers from 2007 to 2013 prior to heading to Fargo. He helped tutor 26 first team all-conference honorees and 10 All-Americans during his time at MSU.
The rest of Klieman’s coaching staff will be announced as it becomes official.
2019 K-State Football Coaching Staff (Through Dec. 22)
Chris Klieman (Head Coach)
Courtney Messingham (Offensive Coordinator/Tight Ends)
Joe Klanderman (Safeties)
Collin Klein (Quarterbacks)
Jason Ray (Wide Receivers)
Conor Riley (Offensive Line)
Blake Seiler (Defensive Line)