Sources: KU's Leipold getting significant raise

Kansas has agreed to a new contract for football coach Lance Leipold that features a significant raise in his average salary to more than $7 million per year, sources told ESPN.

The new contract does not feature any new years in his deal that runs through 2029, per sources, but the raise from the $5 million he made in 2023 serves as another sign of Kansas’ aggressive commitment to football in recent years under athletic director Travis Goff.

The raise elevates Leipold to the top three in average salary in the Big 12. Leipold is making nearly three times more than his initial salary at Kansas when he was hired from Buffalo late in the hiring cycle in 2021.

Leipold has gone 17-21 in his three seasons at Kansas, including 15-11 with two bowl appearances and appearances in the AP top 20 in each of the past two seasons. Kansas had gone winless under Les Miles in the year before Leipold’s arrival and had not reached a bowl since 2008.

Leipold’s tenure includes Kansas’ first-ever win over Texas in Austin in 2021, a win over No. 6 Oklahoma in 2023 and the school’s first-ever win in Morgantown over West Virginia. They also finished last year with a Guaranteed Rate Bowl win over UNLV to finish 9-4.

The new deal comes with a substantial uptick in salary for both on-field coaching staff and support staff.

Perhaps the biggest sign of the school’s dedication to football is the $450 million of investment in the school’s football stadium and operations building, the Anderson Family Football Complex. That’s a sizable amount of money, especially for football at Kansas, a sport that spent much of the last generation before Leipold in the Big 12 cellar. Kansas did have a short but wildly successfully run under Mark Mangino, but the school failed to capitalize on the momentum because of bad hires and a lack of investment in the sport.

With the return of star quarterback Jalon Daniels, tailback Devin Neal and a projected eight of 11 starters on offense next fall, Kansas should be one of the Big 12 preseason favorites in 2024.

Leipold is a six-time national championship winning coach at Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he went 109-6 during his career. He also thrived at the University at Buffalo, leading that school to three straight winning seasons and its first-ever appearance in the Associated Press Top 25.

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