Klieman has directed the Bison defensive unit that leads the nation in scoring defense, total defense, pass defense and first downs allowed per game. NDSU also ranks second in the nation in defensive third down efficiency and third in rushing defense.
Klieman joined the North Dakota State coaching staff prior to the 2011 season, helping the Bison win the national championship in his first season on the staff.
North Dakota State rode a strong defense to the 2011 FCS title, and Klieman's unit has found room to improve on their path to defend the title. NDSU has earned a second consecutive berth in the FCS Championship game, carrying a 13-1 record.
The Bison lead the FCS in scoring defense (11.4 points per game) and total defense (223.3 yards per game, 4.21 yards per play). In 742 snaps defended, North Dakota State has allowed a total of 15 touchdowns. Klieman's defense has held all 14 opponents to 21 points or less and limited seven foes to a touchdown or less, including two shutouts.
"Chris has worked with a number of different coaches and there isn't a person in America that has a bad word to say about him," said NDSU head coach Craig Bohl. "This is a top-shelf top guy, the best of the best."
North Dakota State also leads FCS in pass defense (131.0 yards per game), ranks third in rushing defense (92.3 yards per game, 2.96 yards per carry) and places 18th in pass efficiency defense (5.99 yards per attempt with 10 TDs and 9 INTs).
There is no defense stingier to move the ball against than North Dakota State, as the Bison lead the country with just 11.9 first downs allowed per game. That number not only leads FCS, but ranks second across the entire NCAA.
Unsurprisingly, North Dakota State is second in the FCS on third down, allowing only 48 conversions in 171 attempts (28.1 percent). The Bison defense has been pushed into the red zone a FCS-fewest 17 times, permitting only nine touchdowns and four field goals.
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by ProGrass are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Klieman, Clint Brown & Jay Bubak - South Dakota State, Doug Ruse - Sam Houston State and Brian Scott - Old Dominion) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winners.
Klieman will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the FCS Coordinator of the Year award are Heishman Northern (Prairie View A&M, 2008), Bob Shoop (William & Mary, 2009), Nick Rapone (Delaware, 2010) and Scott Stoker (Sam Houston State, 2011).