Kansas Football: If anyone can turn around Jayhawks, it’s Lance Leipold

Kansas football hired a new head football coach Friday and the hire of Lance Leipold gives the Jayhawks a chance to actually turn things around. 

While the timing of the hire was a little strange, especially with spring ball wrapping up this weekend, Kansas football has a new head coach in Lance Leipold and truly, the Jayhawks couldn’t have made a better pick.

Back when Les Miles and Kansas football decided to mutually part ways, there were a number of different candidates but Leipold is a guy that always made sense. He went to Buffalo, which was a dormant FBS program, and turned it into a winner.

That’s the kind of herculean effort that will be needed to turn Kansas football into a winner, especially since the Jayhawks haven’t had a winning season since 2008.

Here’s what Leipold said in a statement about his new gig:

“It is an exciting and humbling opportunity, and this is a day I will never forget. We are going to build this program through developing players, discipline and determination. This is a program that has a lot of young talent on the roster and has the infrastructure in place to succeed. The best days for this program are ahead, and my family and I are ecstatic to be a part of it. I am ready to get to work and give everything I have to the Jayhawks.”

Why Leipold is a perfect fit for Kansas football

Incredibly, after winning just seven games in his first two seasons at Buffalo, Leipold, who also won over 100 games at the D-III level, led the program to four consecutive winning seasons and even played in the MAC Championship game twice.

Prior to his arrival, Buffalo had just two winning seasons in the previous two decades. So Leipold knows how to build a winner. He was a national championship coach at Wisconsin-Whitewater in addition to being the MAC Coach of the Year multiple times.

All those reasons are why I love this hire of Leipold. It’s a perfect fit. He knows what it takes to build a winner and Kansas is getting a guy that’s invested, who does things the right way and that will be in Lawrence for the long haul.

Les Miles was a flashy hire and so was Charlie Weis. But neither of those guys had what it took to build a winner at Kansas. Maybe because it’s not something that can be done overnight.

Recruiting to Kansas isn’t easy, especially in the Big 12. Miles improved things, but he also brought problems and in the end, he wasn’t worth the headache.

So instead of aiming for a quick fix or a big name, Kansas just hired the best football coach it could get. Leipold was destined for a Power-5 job sooner or later and while the job at Kansas is easily among the most difficult in all of the five major conferences, if anyone can win there, it’s Lance Leipold.