The University of Kansas and head coach Lance Leipold have agreed on a new contract that includes an extension through the 2029 season, sources told ESPN.
Leipold, 58, revived the Jayhawks program in his second season at Lawrence, leading Kansas to a 6-5 record and their first bowl game since the 2008 season. This is Leipold’s second overtime this season; The school announced an extension through the 2027 season in September.
The commitment to Leipold, who was averaging $2.75 million per year on his first six-year contract when he was hired in 2021, is indicative of Kansas’ increased commitment to football investing. In October, the school announced a stadium overhaul project and other facilities expected to cost more than $300 million.
The deal is also structured to keep Leipold in Lawrence long-term. His name had been linked to the vacancies in Nebraska and Wisconsin.
The announcement to improve facilities in Kansas came just before the Jayhawks hosted TCU for an appearance on ESPN’s “College GameDay” in October, the first time the show had visited Lawrence. Kansas started the season 5-0, with star quarterback Jalon Daniels emerging as an early favorite for the Heisman Trophy. The Jayhawks won road games against West Virginia and Houston and at home against Duke and Iowa State, resulting in the school’s first national rankings since 2009.
Leipold was hired by Kansas as recently as late April of last season and inherited a mess left by former coach Les Miles, who went 3-18 in two seasons. In Leipold’s freshman year in 2021, he scored a signature win with an overtime upset from Texas at Austin. Kansas was a 31-point underdog in that game that broke a 56-game losing streak on conference road. Perhaps more importantly, the win gave a glimmer of hope to a program long entrenched in the basement of the Big 12 and gave Leipold’s program immediate credibility.
Since reaching the Insight Bowl and Orange Bowl in back-to-back seasons in 2007 and 2008, Kansas football has become one of the sport’s laughs. None of the four coaches since Mark Mangino’s sacking in 2009 — Turner Gill, Charlie Weis, David Beaty and Miles — have delivered a track record or lasted more than four years.
Leipold emerged as an early contender for national coach of the year in 2022, although those expectations were tempered after Daniels injured himself in the home loss to TCU and the Jayhawks lost three straight games. Kansas then beat No. 18 in the state of Oklahoma to earn bowl eligibility.
Leipold won six national titles in Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he went 109-6, before taking the Buffalo job in 2015. He led the Bulls to three bowl appearances and two bowl wins in six seasons.