Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Inside the Headset with the AFCA

Nov 15, 2018

On this week's episode of Inside the Headset we speak with Chris Klieman, Head Coach for North Dakota State University, and Jennifer Gardner, Head Coach for Lovell HS (WY). With Coach Klieman, we discuss his 2017 national championship team, how his players hold each other accountable, and how his dad influenced his coaching style. With Coach Gardner, we discuss how she became the first female HS head coach in Wyoming history and the importance of building relationships with players.

Coach Klieman's career began as a defensive backs coach at Northern Iowa (1991-1993) after he graduated from UNI in 1990. He then went on to coach defensive backs at Western Illinois (1994-1996), Kansas (1997), and Missouri State (1999). In 2002, Klieman was named the defensive coordinator at Loras College, and he was promoted to head coach for the 2005 season. He then returned to Northern Iowa (2006-2010) as a defensive backs coach before joining the staff at North Dakota State (2011). Klieman was named the defensive coordinator in 2012, and he was named head coach of the Bison in 2014. Since he joined NDSU, Klieman has won six FCS national championships, including three as head coach.

  • [1:49] Start of interview
  • [2:14] Becoming the AFCA FCS representative
  • [3:14] Promoting the game of football
  • [4:42] One game at a time
  • [8:48] The importance of composure
  • [11:19] Holding each other accountable on a daily basis
  • [12:58] High commitment to academics
  • [14:58] Growing up in a coaching family
  • [17:05] The impact of Carson Wentz

You can follow Chris Klieman on Twitter.

Coach Gardner joined the coaching staff at Lovell HS (WY) in 2015 to work with the offensive and defensive lines. After three seasons, she was named head coach of the Bulldogs prior to the 2018 season. She's the first female high school head coach in Wyoming.

  • [18:20] Start of interview
  • [18:34] The path to coaching football
  • [19:13] "Making it fun to play the line"
  • [20:23] The importance of relationship building in this profession
  • [21:48] Coaching is teaching, teaching is coaching
  • [23:04] Overcoming the challenges of coaching
  • [24:26] 2A football in Wyoming
  • [25:50] Offensive and defensive coaching philosophy
  • [26:48] Being a female head football coach
  • [28:44] Advice to people following their passions

You can follow Jennifer Gardner on Twitter.

Have any questions, comments, or ideas for the show? Send us an email at