After numerous in-person interviews last weekend and early this week, Kansas is closing in on its next football coach.
Multiple sources tell FootballScoop that Lance Leipold, who win a six-pack of NCAA Division III national championships at Wisconsin-Whitewater and most recently has elevated the Buffalo program to unprecedented success, has emerged as the Jayhawks’ top target.
At Buffalo, Leipold has built upon the considerable success he generated at Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he won six NCAA Division III national championships.
Leipold is a proven program-builder after climbing quickly through the assistant coaching ranks with his notable work a three-year run as a Nebraska assistant coach under Frank Solich.
He then engineered one of the most dominant stretches of modern-era college football success, with Leipold’s Wisconsin-Whitewater teams playing for seven national championships and winning six from 2007-14.
Atop the Bulls’ program, Leipold has paced the team to a 24-10 record including three bowl appearances and two postseason victories in its last three seasons since turning the corner in the rebuild.
Leipold’s Buffalo program wrapped up spring camp in mid-April.
KU has sought a new direction for its football program since it parted ways in early March with Les Miles amidst recently unearthed sexual harassment allegations against Miles in the past decade when Miles was head coach at LSU. The Jayhawks are 7-98 in Big 12 play since 2009 and were outscored by 32.1 points per contest in conference play en route to a winless 2020 campaign.
After initially declaring new offensive coordinator Mike DeBord, a college veteran with experience in multiple Power 5 conferences, as its interim coach, the Jayhawks changed course when it fired then-athletics director Jeff Long and promoted Emmett Jones to interim coach two days after separating from Miles.
Kansas first addressed its need for a top athletics department official. After a strong run in an assistant’s role at Northwestern, Goff ultimately landed that job the first week of April.
Goff then worked with KU officials to form a hiring/interview committee with other Jayhawks representatives, including veteran college football administrator Mike Vollmar. Hired in August 2018 to be Kansas’ senior associate athletics director overseeing football operations, Vollmar has seen big-time successful college football programs up close; he’s worked at Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State, Syracuse and Tennessee, as well as served on the Rose Bowl’s selection committee.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.
Update> We can now report that the deal has been agreed to. Lance Leipold is Kansas’ new head football coach.
Leipold’s buyout at Buffalo calls for $600k buyout, Steve Berkowitz tweets.
Welcome to KU, @CoachLeipold 🤝
— Kansas Football (@KU_Football) April 30, 2021