After coaching beginning Chris Klieman and Chad Walthall back in the same communityFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The coaching fraternity is a tight one, a bond that connects people across states and time. That bond has been strong for Chris Klieman and Chad Walthall. Klieman, the defensive coordinator at NDSU and Walthall the men's basketball coach at MSUM, used to work together at Loras College in Iowa. Now, 5 years after they left the state, they're back together.
By: Dom Izzo, WDAY
The coaching fraternity is a tight one, a bond that connects people across states and time. That bond has been strong for Chris Klieman and Chad Walthall. Klieman, the defensive coordinator at NDSU and Walthall the men's basketball coach at MSUM, used to work together at Loras College in Iowa. Now, 5 years after they left the state, they're back together.
Chad Walthall – MSUM Men’s Basketball Coach: “I think we're probably kind of similar. I think we both have a passion, and we’re both pretty energetic. Probably him more so than me.”
Walthall and Klieman first met back in 2001 when Klieman was hired as a defensive coach at Loras. Walthall was the men's basketball coach. By 2005, Walthall was AD and Loras needed a football coach. Walthall didn’t have to look too far.
Chris Klieman: “When I was hired I remember we met at Pinera Bread and said, ‘Do you want the job?’ I said, ‘Well sure.” He said, ‘Well, OK, you’ve got the job.’ That was my interview.”
The pair worked together one year as AD and coach.
Chad Walthall: “It was a great relationship. It was good to have a guy that gets it. We were similar in age, similar in interests. It was a fun relationship.”
Chris Klieman: “He was a great boss because he was a coach. I think that made it a lot easier. He had your best interests. We maintained our friendship, and that was easy go ask him where I stand. I didn't feel like, ‘Oh man, that's your boss.’”
Dom Izzo: “Is Chad a better football player or basketball coach?”
Chris Klieman: “He’s a better basketball coach. I don’t know if he could help the Bison. I really don’t know even if back in the day he could have helped the Bison.”
Chad Walthall: “He never watched me play, and even if he did he was going to answer that the same way. It didn’t matter. I would have been a horrible football coach. There’s too many things going on. You’ve got to recruit a billion guys, that’s another problem.”
Dom Izzo: “Chris, could you coach basketball? Could you do what he does?”
Chris Klieman: “I’d like to recruit for basketball. I don’t think I could. I think the season is a lot longer in basketball. Maybe it’s pretty close, but it just seems like it’s a lot longer.
Chad Walthall: “You know, obviously he’s a talented coach and it didn’t surprise me that he wanted on staff here. It doesn’t surprise me now that he’s been elevated. The only thing I’ve got a beef with is, how can you be here 9 months and already have a national championship ring already? That’s the only thing, but I’ll take that. It just puts the heat on me.”