UB head coach Lance Leipold has agreed to a six-year deal to become the next head coach at the University of Kansas, the school announced Friday morning.
Leipold, a two-time Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year, went 37-33 in six seasons at UB. He led the Bulls to two MAC Championship Games and the first two bowl wins in program history, with wins at the 2019 Bahamas and 2020 Camellia Bowl.
Leipold also went 109-6 in eight seasons with Wisconsin-Whitewater, winning six Division III national titles with the Warhawks and becoming the quickest coach in NCAA history to reach 100 career wins.
The Wisconsin native turned UB into a nationally-ranked program in just six seasons, which made him a prime candidate for the opening at KU.
After going 5-7 and 2-10 in his first two seasons, the Bulls have more wins than any other MAC team since 2017.
“I can’t thank Lance enough for everything he has done for our football program,” UB Athletic Director Mark Alnutt said in a press release. “His vision and leadership helped elevate the UB football brand. We are grateful for what Lance has done here and we wish him and his family all the best as they embark on this new journey.”
Leipold emerged as a favorite out of a finalist pool that also included Army’s Jeff Monken, Louisiana Tech’s Skip Holtz and Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko.
Just as Leipold elevated a historically poor football program at UB, he’ll face a similar undertaking at Kansas.
The Jayhawks have a 21-106 record over the past decade and are coming off an 0-9 season under Les Miles, who parted ways with KU after allegations of inappropriate conduct with female students while at LSU, where he’d previously coached.
Former Kansas athletic director Jeff Long also stepped down following the Miles allegations, so Leipold will join new athletic director Travis Goff in Lawrence.
“I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Coach Leipold, Kelly, Lindsey and Landon to the Jayhawk Family,” Goff said in a press release. “He is a man of integrity, a developer of young men, a program builder and a winner. His track record of sustained excellence is exactly what we were looking for in our next leader, and is what the University of Kansas and our fans deserve. His commitment to maximizing our student-athletes’ abilities and experience on the field, in the classroom, in the community, and in life after KU is inspiring. Those qualities will attract individuals and develop them into exceptional Jayhawks.”
Leipold hopes to find success at a Kansas program that hasn’t had a winning season since 2008. He will be the Jayhawks’ sixth head coach in that span.
UB Athletics says it will immediately begin a national search for Leipold’s replacement.
Anthony DeCicco is the senior sports editor for The Spectrum. In his free time, he can be found playing video games, watching ‘90s Knicks games and arguing with people on NBA Twitter at 3 a.m.