'I haven't talked to anybody': Kansas State coach Chris Klieman in no rush to name new offensive coordinator

Arne Green
Topeka Capital-Journal
Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman said Wednesday that he is in no hurry to name a new offensive coordinator to replace Courtney Messingham.

It has been nearly two weeks ago since Kansas State coach Chris Klieman decided to part ways with longtime friend and colleague Courtney Messingham and make a change at offensive coordinator.

But don't expect a decision any time soon on a replacement.

Ever since he made the decision, and even before, recruiting was front and center for Klieman and his staff, culminating with Wednesday's early Signing Day. And now his attention turns to the Wildcats' Jan. 4 trip to the Texas Bowl in Houston, where they will face LSU in an 8 p.m. game at NRG Stadium.

Asked where addressing his staff vacancies — fullbacks/tight ends coach Jason Ray also was let go — are on him immediate priority list, Klieman simply said, "Way down."

"I had been on the road for a week. We made the decision, then I was on the road for another week," he said during a news conference Wednesday to discuss the 13 new players K-State picked up during the early NCAA signing period. "Now we're only at Wednesday and it's Signing Day.

"I haven't talked to anybody. I haven't given it much thought at all."

Klieman named quarterbacks coach Collin Klein the interim offensive coordinator for the bowl game.

"I'm going to spend a lot of time with coach Klein during this period of bowl prep and that offensive staff and learn a little bit more about the things that we're doing that we really like and the things that I'd like to see us make some alterations on and then we'll evaluate it after the bowl game," Klieman said.

He did not go discuss any specifics of what he is looking for in Messingham's successor.

"I'm keeping it (to) myself right now," he said.

More honors for Deuce Vaughn

The postseason honors keep on coming for Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn.

Vaughn, who earlier this week was named to the Associated Press All-America first team, picked up All-America accolades from three more publications Wednesday, when he received first-team honors as an athlete from Sporting News and a second-team nod as an all-purpose player by the American Football Coaches Associations, while Phil Steele named him an honorable mention at running back.


In addition to the AP first-team selection as an all-purpose player, Vaughn earlier was a second-team pick by CBS Sports and USA Today.

Vaughn, a sophomore from Round Rock, Texas, became the first Wildcat player to receive All-America recognition from at least five sources in one season since offensive lineman Dalton Risner in 2018.

Vaughn finished the regular season ranked fifth nationally in yards from scrimmage with 1,729 for a 144.1 per-game average. He has rushed for 1,258 yards and 15 touchdowns while catching 47 passes for 471 and three scores.

He currently is one of two players nationally with at least 1,000 rushing and 400 receiving yards. If he picks up 29 receiving yards in the Texas Bowl on Jan. 4, he will become just the fourth player in Big 12 history and the third nationally in the past five years to combine for 1,000 rushing and 500 receiving yards.

Vaughn also is a finalist for the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award.