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Thursday, September 1, 2022

Kansas signs football coach Lance Leipold to 1-year contract extension through 2027 season

Kansas football coach Lance Leipold during a training camp practice at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Aug. 23, 2022.

Kansas football coach Lance Leipold during a training camp practice at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Aug. 23, 2022.

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Kansas has signed football coach Lance Leipold to a one-year contract extension that will keep him in charge of the program through the 2027 season.

Leipold, whose second season will begin Friday when the Jayhawks face Football Championship Subdivision opponent Tennessee Tech at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, went just 2-10 in his first year.

But athletic director Travis Goff found it worthwhile to reward Leipold for what he termed "Year 0" given the timing of his hiring and the challenges he faced in building a competitive team last season.

"This is a statement about our exceptional confidence in Lance, his outstanding staff and the unlimited potential of Kansas football," Goff said in a statement. "When you consider he and his staff did not arrive until May 2021, and therefore did not have a chance to coach our guys until August last year, the 2021 season could be considered 'Year 0.'

"Given the progress that's been made both on and off the field in such short order, I could not feel more strongly about the trajectory of this program under Lance's leadership, as well as our shared commitment to elevate Kansas Football to unprecedented heights."

Terms of Leipold's contract extension were not immediately made available by the university.

Leipold in April 2021 signed a six-year contract with an escalating annual salary that would pay him $16.5 million, or an average of $2.75 million per year. He was hired to replace Les Miles, with whom the university parted ways on March 9, 2021, amid sexual misconduct allegations dating to his time coaching at LSU.

The timing of Leipold's appointment meant the Jayhawks missed a crucial spring window to install his schemes and concepts and had to instead do so once training camp began in August.

That led to a disjoined, simplified approach to the start of the season, which got better late. Kansas surprisingly won in overtime at Texas on Nov. 13, then narrowly lost games at TCU and against West Virginia to close the season.

For months, the coaching staff and players have pointed to those three games as reasons why they believe this season will be different. Kansas also fortified its roster with the addition of 21 players who have transferred from another college since December.

Leipold guided Wisconsin-Whitewater, his alma mater, to six Division III national championships in eight seasons before he was hired by Buffalo to that same role in 2015. After improvement in those six seasons, including a first bowl win by the Bulls in the modern era of college football, Goff turned to Leipold to resurrect the Jayhawks — an appointment made just weeks after Goff was hired to replace Jeff Long, who resigned less than two days after Miles' departure.

"We're excited about Year 2," Leipold said during the formal portion of Big 12 football media days in July. "Year 1 was definitely a whirlwind, but we feel the foundation has been set in many ways, feel very pleased on how we finished last season, where we progressed here in the spring and some of the additions to our roster, and we're excited to get going."

Comments

Brett McCabe 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Saw a few articles pointing to Leipold as a replacement for Frost if Frost gets fired. I'm guessing the two things are not unrelated. A good-case scenario for KU is Frost gets canned, Kleinman takes the Husker job and ksu finds a way to blow the hire. In short - everybody wins!

Rodney Crain 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I almost dropped my drink when they tried an onside kick. Frost can recruit but he is not the same coach he was down in FL. With the portal he could take all his players with him if he goes.

Rodney Crain 2 months, 3 weeks ago

No Brainer, but holding on to him will be difficult.

David Robinett 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Lance did utter the words that KU was not a steppingstone job for him. And given his character I think he will be true to his word.

Brad Watson 2 months, 3 weeks ago

FANTASTIC!!!!! Best coach in America!!!!....PERIOD!!!

Ryan Mullen 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Every time we extend a football coach at KU we start sucking even more. How about this guy takes us to a winning season first.

Dirk Medema 2 months, 3 weeks ago

A winning season is a reasonable trigger under normal circumstances. Travis very reasonable identifies the abnormal circumstances in this case and why the 1 year extension was appropriate.

Brett - I forget which podcast I was listening to that brought up the rumors. They laughed. Like Husker donors are going to accept someone that hasn’t won big at the D1 level. They deserve you know?

Rodney - Can Frost recruit? I thought I had read that part of their problem was missing out on the big recruits. Controlling the NE pipeline gets you even less than KS.

Rodney Crain 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The talent he had the last two seasons, and this season is there. NE was right there late in that game against the 17th ranked team, who deserves to be ranked that high. On the road mind you. His bone headed on-sides kick call with an 11 point lead mid 3rd qtr. let Pitt back in.

Dirk maybe you should try to broaden your perspective? Read, or watch, of maybe try to understand what is "actually" happening, not just rely on "what you read" somewhere. Like in the game NE just played would be a good place to start.

Nice try.

Dirk Medema 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The Huskers have averaged the 20th best recruiting class under Frost. While Great by our standards, that seems well below their championship expectations. All the more reason Lance leaving is not an realistic concern.

Rodney Crain 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Wait, you just said above Frost sucked at recruiting, then you want to downplay an average 20th ranked recruiting class (not bad when you factor in SEC and other top B10 schools get the pick of the litter), as well below championship quality? Not below, but well below.

He has to play Purdue, NW, IA, MN, IL and WI everyear. That lineup is tough. Consider that each school has been ranked recently late in the season, that sometimes 3+ of them are ranked at the same time. Winning is hard in that group.

What's next? I guess when you post something, it sounds GREAT in your head, then you research it to back up you foolish statement, find out you were wrong and then come up with this?

Frost should average 6-8 wins a season with that recruiting level, He has talent (like I said), he is not the same coach as he was in FL (like I said) - see Pitt game just played.

As I stated, Frost can recruit! No Backsies, no spin, no whoops I forgot to check on that from me. Thanks for showing everyone that I was right.

Sorry you were wrong again. Keep trying you will get better. It might take 5-10 years but I am always willing to be here to help you.

Brett McCabe 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Ryan - it's hard to argue against your point. One thing, though, that has really ramped up the past few years is the quick firing of collegiate coaches. Used to be, even really bad coaches were given the full year. Now, they are getting canned really early so that AD's can basically have their searches completed and be ready-to-hire as soon as the season ends. And I'm confident that these AD's have plenty of communication with coaches during the season through agents and other channels.

As much as I agree with you that, on principle, we should at least see what Leipold does in Year 2, I think that Goff is thinking that the absolute worst thing that could happen to KU this year is for Leipold to get poached, take the entire staff with him to Lincoln or wherever, and KU is an almost untenable situation when it comes to football.

Trev Alberts should have fired Frost last year. He made a huge mistake, and made this entire year not about NU football, but about will he/won't he. Rookie mistake by an AD that has absolutely no qualifications to be an AD other than the fact that he played at Nebraska. He may be the most unqualified AD in America. But for people to think he wouldn't come after Leipold is naive. Leipold has an incredibly solid resume and a short stint at one of the worst programs in America will be viewed as a non-issue. A meaningless blip on a stellar career. And if Leipold has a miraculous season, let's say four wins, he'll be a target. And a Big Ten job is a Big Ten job.

Edward Daub 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Lance Leipold's dream job is Wisconsin Badgers, not Nebraska Cornhuskers.

That being said, I sure hope Lance has the players focused on the T. Tech game.

KU Football cannot afford to look ahead past any opponent. Rock Chalk!

Rodney Crain 2 months, 3 weeks ago

He would do well at WI. Great place to watch a game, that is a fun 4hrs. Their coach is pretty solid there.

Check out BRAELON ALLEN, their soph. running back at WI. Last year 1238yds, 8 receptions. Big, fast a great RB behind another great OL.

Andy Godwin 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The way to reward Leipold's, his staff, and the players’ efforts is to show up to the games. It is an embarrassment to the team to see a few hundred students and a half-filled stadium. Get on the bandwagon before they start winning. My wife and I watched a bit of the Penn State-Purdue game last night and her first remark was look how full the Purdue stadium was. Win or lose, show up, create an electric environment, and support the team. Rock Chalk.

Rodney Crain 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Purdue is winning and has had a winning program. Penn State is a big draw wherever they play.

Michael Leiker 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Right on Andy!! Fill the Booth!!! Today is going to be an environment we haven't seen for a while down there.

Whoever gets hired at NU knows they're getting hired to be fired, Leipold is smarter than that. They still think it's 1995 up there.

Brad Watson 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The only pressure here on Coach is an attendance pressure....we need 35 to 40 thousand season ticket holders or regular single game fans...that's the start of an actual fan base...I personally would have offered free admission to the Tennessee Tech game...bring a can good type thing...just to fill the stadium ....a free trial kind of thing...I would have started promoting it in July...to insure a full house...I would also be in front of every supermarket ...all over the state...every Saturday and Sunday all summer... with tables signing up people to season tickets and single game tickets... I would have booths at every festival...every parade...every fair...every carnival...every community event statewide...sometimes you got to take to the people and old school shoe leather sales..if you are at the store every weekend..you are visible and you are in peoples minds...if are there every weekend...you will get a lot of sales...KU alums all over the state would be more than happy to volunteer and help do it...that's how you build a fan base...winning is secondary but important to keep the momentum...make the 6 weekends in the fall a HAPPENING...a must be there event...just to be a part of everything about a college football Saturday!

Brett McCabe 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Edward - Maybe his dream job is Wisconsin. But that job isn't open (neither is NU, technically). Leipold is 58, and I think that Goff figures that if he can keep Leipold here for at least three years, he'll have a good chance of keeping him for good - assuming that he succeeds. As much as I hate to say it, big-time programs won't necessarily be looking to hire HC's in their 60's. This has the potential to be the absolute perfect hire for KU, but you can't let someone come poach him this year.

Dirk Medema 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Andy - Ross-Ade Stadium wasn’t like that in the ’90’s before Joe Tiller brought “basketball on grass” and Drew Brees to West Lafayette. There was even a while when they were starting to win when the stadium wasn’t full and people inside the program publicly complained. From what I’ve seen over the years is that it takes a year or 3 for attendance to catch up with performance. Purdue hasn’t won many championships, but they have had plenty of winning, so they are going to have more fans. As Rodney also said, it helps that it was against Penn State to start the season.

Dirk Medema 2 months, 3 weeks ago

“The talent he had the last two seasons, and this season is there. NE was right there late in that game against the 17th ranked team, who deserves to be ranked that high. On the road mind you. His bone headed on-sides kick call with an 11 point lead mid 3rd qtr. let Pitt back in.”

Rodney - Maybe you should lay off the sauce? Looks like you’ve slurred together the Nebraska and the WVU games.

That might also explain your inability to stay on topic. You made a vague reference to Frost’s ability to recruit and I responded with actual data from rivals. And your response - read and watch but don’t rely on what you read? There’s probably a local AA that can help or maybe that swirlie is just your preferred reality.

Rodney Crain 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Dirk I have lost an uncle and a cousin to alcoholism. It is the reason I never drink, I do not have alcohol in my house and I certainly take issue with you saying that I am drunk. (Club Soda with a lime twist, stops all the questions in a social setting is what to drink, so they stop asking why are you not drinking btw).

I was the relative contact in case my family members were in trouble for both sober companions. Spent many nights in hospital rooms with them praying.

I have walked my family members into AA meetings, escorted them to rehab, and hosted interventions. It is a helpless feeling.

I unlike you, will apologize for mixing up the two games. NE was playing NW in Ireland. Everything I said still is true about Frost and you though.

I never hide my disdain for you on this site. You are wrong a lot, and act like your word is the gospel on here more times than not. I have a huge issue with that.

But you have crossed a line with this post Dirk.

Thanks for showing not only me, but everyone who reads this what type of person you really are. My family members who battled their addictions till the end are better people than you will ever be.

That, is clearly an indisputable fact.

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