Buffalo coach Lance Leipold has finalized a deal to be the next head coach at Kansas, multiple sources told Yahoo Sports. Leipold emerged out of a finalist pool that included Army’s Jeff Monken, Louisiana Tech’s Skip Holtz, and Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko.
Leipold’s ability to turn around Buffalo, a traditional have-not in the MAC, proved attractive to the Kansas brass. It realized with the firing of Les Miles that Leipold’s experience rebuilding Buffalo into a consistent MAC contender will be valuable for the total rebuild that’s necessary there. Kansas is coming off a winless season and has lost 13 consecutive games dating to October 2019.
Leipold, 56, elevated the Buffalo program to new heights during his time there, including the school’s first national ranking last season. Buffalo reached a bowl game in each of the last three years, and Leipold delivered the first two bowl victories in school history. In his last four years at Buffalo, Leipold went 30-17 and earned a pair of bids in the MAC championship game.
Leipold also brings extensive experience and a winning pedigree in the Midwest. He won six Division IIII national titles as the head coach at Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he went a dizzying 109-6 — that’s not a misprint — as head coach.
Leipold also spent seven years as an assistant coach at Nebraska-Omaha from 1994-2000 and worked at the University of Nebraska for four seasons under Frank Solich from 2001-03. He then returned for three more seasons at Nebraska-Omaha as the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach, giving him a lot of time in Kansas’ general geographic and recruiting footprint.
Since Kansas parted ways with Miles on March 8 in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment during his time at LSU, the school fired athletic director Jeff Long, hired replacement Travis Goff and gave basketball coach Bill Self a lifetime contract.
The search for a new coach took more than 50 days as Kansas was in the midst of spring practice. The spring game is Saturday, and Leipold will be tasked with potentially bringing in new systems and getting to know the team without the benefit of any spring practice.
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