Kansas football: Lance Leipold has done the most impressive coaching job

Dec 26, 2023; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Kansas Jayhawks head coach Lance Leipold looks on during the first
Dec 26, 2023; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Kansas Jayhawks head coach Lance Leipold looks on during the first / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A few years ago, Kansas football was the most undesirable job in the Power Five. The Jayhawks had gone 12 straight seasons without making a bowl game. When Lance Leipold took over, most of his players were just toddlers the last time Kansas was in a bowl game.

The Jayhawks were in the cellar of college football and it felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. There was no success on the horizon.

And then Leipold took over.

The former Division III coaching legend at Wisconsin-Whitewater won six national titles at that level and then was hired by Buffalo in 2015 and turned that program around. He finished his tenure there with a winning record which is unheard of at Buffalo and he made it look easy.

Although he won just two games in his first year at Kansas, he changed the culture immediately. Players began buying in and Kansas didn't feel like a laughingstock anymore. That was evident in year two as the Jayhawks went 6-7 and made their first bowl game since 2008. That 14-year drought was finally over and it only took Leipold two years to end it.

And in 2023, Leipold led Kansas to nine wins, including a postseason victory. That type of success hadn't been seen in Lawrence in nearly two decades.

Three years is all it took to get Kansas out of the basement of the Big 12 and near the top of the conference, projected as one of the title contenders in 2024. That's incredible and I don't think Leipold gets as much credit as he deserves for this turnaround.

In my opinion, this is the most impressive coaching job in the country -- more impressive than Jim Harbaugh's self-turnaround at Michigan and Eli Drinkwitz's rapid turnaround in 2023.

Kansas got itself a good one.