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Jayhawks Close to Cementing Future with Coach Lance Leipold with 'Historic' Deal

Lance Leipold and the Kansas Jayhawks are reportedly heating up and nearing a 'historic' restructured contract deal, per Mike Vernon's 'The Hearings' newsletter and multiple Kansas insiders. This comes after the Jayhawks finished with their best record since 2007 at 9-4, capped off with a Guaranteed Rate Bowl win over UNLV 49-36, the program's first bowl win since then. Leipold has completely flipped the culture of Kansas Football upside down, from Big 12 bottom-dwellers to potential contenders for the conference title in the coming year.

A Brief History of Lance Leipold's Career

A decade and a half of ineptitude and embarrassment have been, by all accounts so far, erased by the spectacular tenure of head coach Lance Leipold, who came on board in 2021. Leipold had coached Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater to multiple national titles in the late 2000s and had also carried a Buffalo Bulls program to many successes throughout his tenure there. Kansas Athletic Director Travis Goff, who was also hired in early 2021 after Jeff Long's firing, brought on Leipold because he knew of his accolades and what he did for his past programs. In his first season, the Jayhawks went 2-10 but had a lot more competitive games compared to years past and an all-time upset win over Texas in Austin. The very next season is when it took off for Leipold and the Jayhawks, going 6-7, but having a red-hot start at 5-0. If star quarterback Jalon Daniels and stud running back Daniel Hishaw, Jr. had not gotten injured, the Jayhawks could have done much better, but it was a major step up for the program. Now, finishing at 9-4 and returning much of this roster, the Jayhawks are poised to make a run at the Big 12 Title, and they couldn't have a better guy to lead that campaign.

Lance Leipold Contract Details

Leipold signed an initial extension in November of 2022 which runs through 2029, which more than doubled his original compensation according to's Matt Tait. Currently, Leipold's contract garners him about $5 million a year with incentives that could allow that to exceed well beyond $35 million in total compensation by the end of his tenure. Mike Vernon expects the KU Athletics Department to award Leipold significantly for his efforts in turning around the Kansas Football program, potentially making him a Top 15 (at least) highest-paid head coach.

With the donations coming in to make this football program better, as more and more people are buying into this team, the department should have money to not only improve the stadium, which they had already planned via the Gateway District Project announced in August of 2023, but also pay Lance Leipold the compensation he deserves. The focus is on making the deal workable for both Leipold and KU, to where there are no hang-ups with other programs such as the revered Kansas men's basketball team and Bill Self, but also a deal that secures Leipold long-term. The deal is expected to be coming in the next handful of days and Jayhawk nation waits in anticipation...


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