Thursday, July 18, 2024

Kansas’ Lance Leipold reaffirms commitment amid rumors of interest from other schools: ‘We want to be here’

NCAA Football: Kansas at Oklahoma

Lance Leipold has engineered an incredible turnaround in Kansas, leading what had been a dismal program to back-to-back bowl-eligible seasons including a 7-2 start to 2023. With that success, Leipold’s name has popped up in connection with high-profile job openings, including Nebraska and Wisconsin last year. Most recently a Michigan-based radio show speculated that Leipold had interviewed for the Michigan State job. Leipold shut down those rumors and reaffirmed his commitment to the Jayhawks program during his radio show Tuesday night.  

“This (radio show) is the only interview (I’ve done over the last 48 hours) and that’s the way it’s going to be,” Leipold said. “The one thing that happens this time of year, is there’s a lot of speculation and things that are happening that are not accurate. As I’ve said for a long time, (Kansas athletic director) Travis Goff and Chancellor Girod have treated Kelly and I extremely well and our family. It is our plan and our expectation that we want to be here and this is going to be the last job that we have.”

In a Tuesday interview with the Wichita Eagle, Goff also addressed speculation tying Leipold to open jobs. 

“I would be shocked if his name wasn’t bubbling up one way or the other in just about every opening,” Goff said. “That would indicate what are we doing in our industry if that’s not happening. So I’m excited for that and continuing to reiterate that we’ve got a great one. We’ve got a great one that’s excited about and committed to leading KU.”

Last fall, Leipold has agreed to a contract extension that runs through 2029. He came to Kansas in 2021 after serving six seasons as the head coach at Buffalo. 

The Jayhawks checked in at No. 16 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings after delivering signature wins in consecutive weeks over Oklahoma and Iowa State. Kansas has played the majority of the season without Preseason Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year Jalon Daniels. Backup quarterback Jason Bean filled in during his absence.

The Jayhawks host Texas Tech on Saturday and could still sneak into the Big 12 title game by running the table and getting some help along the way.

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