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Thursday, May 06, 2021
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Lance Leipold among top candidates for Kansas head coaching job

Jayhawks are expected to hire a new head coach this week, Leipold is a leading candidate

Lance Leipold has been rumored as a potential candidate for multiple high-profile head coaching jobs this offseason, including at UCF, Illinois and now Kansas.
Lance Leipold has been rumored as a potential candidate for multiple high-profile head coaching jobs this offseason, including at UCF, Illinois and now Kansas.

After parting ways with former head coach Les Miles in March, the University of Kansas football program is targeting UB head coach Lance Leipold as a possible replacement.

Leipold has been rumored as a potential candidate for multiple high-profile head coaching jobs this offseason, including at UCF, Illinois and now Kansas.

Kansas conducted an interview with Leipold in April for the opening, according to KU Sports

Leipold interviewed for the Illinois opening in December before the Illini hired former Wisconsin and Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema.

KU athletic director Jeff Long stepped down just days after Miles parted ways with KU amid allegations of inappropriate conduct with female students while at LSU. 

Miles and Long had a tumultuous two seasons at KU, with the team going just 3-18 in that span. New Athletic Director Jeff Goff and the Jayhawks are expected to hire a new head coach as soon as Wednesday or Thursday, according to KU Sports

Along with Leipold, the KU candidate pool also includes Army’s Jeff Monken, Louisiana Tech’s Skip Holtz and Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko.

Over the last six seasons, Leipold has guided the Bulls to a 37-33 record. UB won its first two bowl games in program history under Leipold, including a 2019 Bahamas Bowl victory over Charlotte and a 2020 Camelia Bowl win against Marshall.

The Bulls appeared in the MAC Championship Game twice (2018 and 2020) and earned their first Associated Press Top-25 ranking in program history in 2020 under Leipold’s leadership.

Leipold would have a tough task at KU.

The Jayhawks have a 21-106 record since Mark Mangino left the program in 2009 following allegations of player mistreatment. Mangino is the only coach since Jules Sikes, who coached the team in 1953, to leave Kansas with a winning record.

While KU’s historical woes make the Kansas job seemingly unappealing on the surface, the Jayhawks are still a part of the Big 12, one of college football’s “Power 5” conferences. If Leipold were to turn the KU program around, he would be met with national acclaim and could even be offered bigger head coaching positions.

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Leipold would bring a winning pedigree to a program historically known for losing.

Leipold had a 106-6 record in eight seasons with the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, leading the Warhawks to six NCAA Division III Championships. 

After going 5-7 and 2-10 in his first two seasons at Buffalo, the Bulls have more wins than any other MAC team since 2017.

Leipold holds a 146-39 career record as a college football coach.

The Kansas football program has struggled mightily over the past decade, and with the head coaching announcement reportedly coming this week, only time will tell if Leipold is the man for the job.

Anthony DeCicco is the Senior Sports Editor and can be reached at anthony.decicco@ubspectrum.com and @DeCicco42 on Twitter


ANTHONY DECICCO
anthony-decicco-1.jpg

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. 

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