LAWRENCE, Kan. – Demonstrating an elevated commitment to the future of Kansas Football, Director of Athletics Travis Goff announced Thursday that head coach Lance Leipold has signed a one-year contract extension with the Jayhawks. Leipold originally signed a six-year contract with the Jayhawks through the 2026 season. The one-year extension now takes Leipold through the 2027 season and gets the contract back to the original length of six years.
“This is a statement about our exceptional confidence in Lance, his outstanding staff and the unlimited potential of Kansas Football,” Goff said. “When you consider he and his staff did not arrive until May (2021), and therefore did not have a chance to coach our guys until August last year, the 2021 season could be considered ‘year zero’. Given the progress that’s been made both on and off the field in such short order, I could not feel more strongly about the trajectory of this program under Lance’s leadership, as well as our shared commitment to elevate Kansas Football to unprecedented heights.”
The six-time National Champion, and fastest coach in college football history to reach 100 career wins, Leipold is entering his second season with the Jayhawks after being introduced as the Kansas Head Coach on May 3, 2021. In his first season with the Jayhawks, Leipold led the team to the program’s first Big 12 road win since 2008 with a 57-56 overtime win at Texas. Under Leipold’s direction, Kansas played its best football down the stretch, topping the Longhorns, before a pair of one-possession games at TCU and against West Virginia.
The Jayhawks showed the qualities of a well-coached team in Leipold’s first year, finishing second in the country and first in the Big 12 Conference in fewest penalty yards per game and first in the conference and 21st in the country in fewest turnovers committed.
Kansas also saw its offensive production drastically improve in Leipold’s first season. The Jayhawks averaged 324.2 yards per game last year after averaging 259.2 yards in 2020. The team averaged five more points per game and rushed for 139.3 yards per game after rushing for 104.9 in 2020. Additionally, the Kansas offensive line allowed just 16 sacks in 12 games after allowing 47 in nine games the previous season.
The success carried into the offseason as Leipold and his staff assembled a transfer recruiting class that was ranked 21st in the country by 247 Sports. The Jayhawks added 14 FBS transfers to their roster for 2022 with the group bringing 107 career FBS starts to their credit after having the youngest team in Power 5 football last season. Conversely, Kansas lost just 12 starts to the transfer portal after the season, keeping the large majority of its two-deep depth chart intact.
The Jayhawks have also thrived in the classroom under Leipold’s leadership. During the 2021 fall semester, the program recorded a team GPA of 2.87, which established a new record in the fall term. Additionally that semester, the program had 58 student-athletes named to the AD honor roll, which marked a new program record until 60 were named to the honor roll the following semester.
Leipold has also put a premium on recruiting Kansas and the Midwest, and has reignited relationships and excitement with Kansas alumni and Jayhawk fans throughout the country.
Leipold and the Jayhawks will open the 2022 season tonight versus Tennessee Tech at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. The Jayhawks return nine starters on offense and nine on defense, blending a roster of returning experience and incoming transfer talent.