Kansas Football: Lance Leipold has tough task ahead of him

Buffalo Bulls head coach Lance Leipold - Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Buffalo Bulls head coach Lance Leipold - Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports /

Kansas football has hired Lance Leipold as their next head coach. Leipold coached at Buffalo and turned them into a winner but doing so in Lawrence will be a much tougher task.

The Kansas Jayhawks have hired their sixth head coach over the last decade, per Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, and the latest to give the program everything he has is Lance Leipold, who coached at Buffalo since 2015. He turned the Buffalo program around and they reached three straight bowl games and made it into the Top 25 this past season.

While all of that sounds nice on paper, turning around a program like Kansas is going to be a very difficult mission for Leipold. This is a football program that has been stumbling ever since Mark Mangino was fired following the 2009 season. What’s followed since then has had 12 consecutive losing seasons.

Les Miles was the hopeful savior of the program, but we all know how that ended. Leipold might have had success with a MAC program but it’s a different animal in the Big 12. Oklahoma has run the conference for quite some time now while the Jayhawks have mostly resided in the basement.

Part of the problem for Kansas is that coaches who are brought in don’t get much of an opportunity to prove themselves. Aside from David Beaty, every other coach hired since Mangino was fired has only been around for three years before losing their jobs. Beaty was given four years and won just six games during that time.

Lance Leipold will have his work cut out for him coaching Kansas football.

There was optimism when Miles took over the program and he did land solid talent during his time at the helm (Pooka Williams comes to mind) and now we’ll have to see if Leipold is able to make the Jayhawks relevant again. It took him four years to turn things around at Buffalo, so the important thing is for the university to be patient with him.

KU football fans are used to the turnover at the head coach spot and Leipold could be just another name that comes through the door and can’t turn this program around. But, looking at it from a glass-half-full perspective, maybe he is able to find the same magic that he captured at Buffalo and can make the Kansas Jayhawks a respectable football program again.

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Here’s to hoping that Lance Leipold pans out for Kansas football.