Sources: Kansas hiring Buffalo's Lance Leipold to replace Les Miles

Pete Thamel
·2-min read

Buffalo coach Lance Leipold has finalized a deal to be the next head coach at Kansas, multiple sources told Yahoo Sports. Leipold emerged out of a finalist pool that included Army’s Jeff Monken, Louisiana Tech’s Skip Holtz, and Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko.

Leipold’s ability to turn around Buffalo, a traditional have-not in the MAC, proved attractive to the Kansas brass. It realized with the firing of Les Miles that Leipold’s experience rebuilding Buffalo into a consistent MAC contender will be valuable for the total rebuild that’s necessary there. Kansas is coming off a winless season and has lost 13 consecutive games dating to October 2019.

Leipold, 56, elevated the Buffalo program to new heights during his time there, including the school’s first national ranking last season. Buffalo reached a bowl game in each of the last three years, and Leipold delivered the first two bowl victories in school history. In his last four years at Buffalo, Leipold went 30-17 and earned a pair of bids in the MAC championship game.

FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2016, file photo, Buffalo head coach Lance Leipold walks the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Western Michigan, in Kalamazoo, Mich. Buffalo coach Lance Leipold didn't get much time to enjoy his school's first win over a Big Ten opponent or relish the Bulls getting off to their first 4-0 start in nearly four decades.
A few hours after returning home following a 42-13 rout at Rutgers on Saturday, Leipold's mood turned upon seeing how Army nearly toppled then-fifth-ranked Oklahoma, and on the road, no less.
Lance Leipold earned the job at Kansas. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Leipold also brings extensive experience and a winning pedigree in the Midwest. He won six Division IIII national titles as the head coach at Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he went a dizzying 109-6 — that’s not a misprint — as head coach.

Leipold also spent seven years as an assistant coach at Nebraska-Omaha from 1994-2000 and worked at the University of Nebraska for four seasons under Frank Solich from 2001-03. He then returned for three more seasons at Nebraska-Omaha as the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach, giving him a lot of time in Kansas’ general geographic and recruiting footprint.

Since Kansas parted ways with Miles on March 8 in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment during his time at LSU, the school fired athletic director Jeff Long, hired replacement Travis Goff and gave basketball coach Bill Self a lifetime contract.

The search for a new coach took more than 50 days as Kansas was in the midst of spring practice. The spring game is Saturday, and Leipold will be tasked with potentially bringing in new systems and getting to know the team without the benefit of any spring practice.

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