Michigan State coaching search rumors are picking up now that Mel Tucker has officially been fired for cause.

Kansas State’s Chris Klieman is among the coaches who have been linked to the opening at MSU. During an appearance on SiriusXM, Klieman downplayed any chatter linking him to East Lansing, saying he will not be a candidate and plans to stay at KSU.

Kleiman, 56, hails from Big Ten territory. He’s a native of Waterloo, Iowa, and played defensive back at Northern Iowa from 1986-to-1990.


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After 5 highly successful seasons at FCS program North Dakota State, Kleiman became the head coach at Kansas State ahead of the 2019 season. The Wildcats won the Big 12 Championship in 2022, taking down national runner-up TCU. KSU is off to a 3-1 star in 2023, bringing Kleiman’s record to 33-21 in his Kansas State tenure.

College football insider Bruce Feldman included Kleiman on a list of top candidates during his appearance on Saturday’s “Big Noon Kickoff.” Feldman also mentioned Duke’s Mike Elko, Kansas’ Lance Leipold and Colorado offensive coordinator Sean Lewis, a former head coach at Kent State.