Kansas football, perhaps the most difficult job in all of the Power Five, is set to name a new head coach very soon. According to multiple reports, the school is locked in on Buffalo's Lance Leipold for the job.
The Bulls head coach has been on the reported shortlist for the job for a while now. Assuming this hire gets finalized, he edges out other candidates, including Army's Jeff Monken and Louisiana Tech's Skip Holtz.
Leipold has been very successful at multiple levels during his career. The 56-year old took over an inconsistent Buffalo program, and has taken them to bowl games in each of the last three seasons. The program topped out at 10-4 in 2018, and followed it up with an 8-5 2019 season, and a 6-1 shortened 2020 campaign. The team won the MAC East twice in those three years.
He rose to prominence as head coach of his alma mater, Division III power Wisconsin-Whitewater. From 2007-14, he went 109-6, winning six Division III national titles, with a seventh title game appearance.
After the failed Les Miles experience, Kansas football goes after a coach with a serious winning pedigree, and a recent history of program building. At Buffalo, Lance Leipold helped engineer one of college football's most deadly rushing attacks.
Running back Jaret Patterson was the MAC Freshman of the Year in 2018, and then a two-time All-MAC first-teamer the last two seasons, winning conference player of the year in 2020. He has 3,884 yards and 52 touchdowns in three seasons, making headlines this past season by rushing for 409 yards and an FBS-record eight touchdowns in a win over Kent State.
Of course, bringing Kansas football to relevancy in the Big 12 is a much taller task than elevating Buffalo to the top of the MAC. Hopefully this is finally the hire to turn that program around. Since the firing of Mark Mangino, Kansas is 20-108 dating back to 2010.
Sources: Kansas is poised to hire Buffalo’s Lance Leipold as its next football coach.
— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) April 30, 2021
Update: Kansas football has made the hire official.
Now the hard work begins. KU opens the season on Sept. 4 at home against FCS program South Dakota.