The Kansas State Wildcats football program (variously Kansas State, K-State, or KSU) is the intercollegiate football program of the Kansas State University Wildcats. The program is classified in the NCAA Division I Bowl Subdivision (FBS), and the team competes in the Big 12 Conference.
Historically, the team has an all-time losing record, at 526–640–41 as of the conclusion of the 2017 season. However, the program has had some stretches of winning in its history, most recently and most notably under head coach Bill Snyder from the 1990s through the 2010s. In 1998 Kansas State finished the regular season with an undefeated (11–0) record, and from 1995 to 2001 the school appeared in the AP Poll for 108 consecutive weeks—the 15th-longest streak in college football history.
Since 1968, the team has played in Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium (formerly KSU Stadium) in Manhattan, Kansas. The Kansas State University Marching Band, also known as the Pride of Wildcat Land, performs at all home games and bowl games.
According to most sources, Kansas State's football team began play on Thanksgiving Day 1893. A team from Kansas State defeated St. Mary's College 18–10 on that date. Other sources name Kansas State's first game as a 24–0 victory over a team from Abilene, Kansas, on November 3, 1894. However, the first official game recorded in the team's history is a 14–0 loss to Fort Riley on November 28, 1896.
In its earliest years, the program had a different coach every year—generally, a former college football player who had just graduated from college. Often, the coaches also played with the team during the games. Some of the coaches during this era include Fay Moulton (1900), who went on to win Olympic medals as a sprinter; Wade Moore (1901), who later was a successful minor league baseball manager; and Cyrus E. Dietz (1902), who became a justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. The pattern changed when Mike Ahearn became the first long-term coach in 1905. Ahearn coached for six seasons, leading the team to winning records each year, and concluding in the 1910 season with a 10–1 mark. Ahearn also won two conference championships in the Kansas Intercollegiate Athletic Association, in 1909 and 1910. Ahearn was followed by Guy Lowman, who led Kansas State to another conference championship in 1912.