Lance Leipold is now under contract to coach Kansas Jayhawks football through the 2029 season and will get a substantial raise, too.
KU announced the new deal on Tuesday after it was reported last week by ESPN’s Pete Thamel that the two sides had agreed to an extension.
Among the important details in Leipold’s new contract are the length of the deal, which runs through April 30, 2030 or the next seven seasons. He received a raise earlier in 2022 that extended his contract through the 2027 campaign.
There are major financial ramifications in the new contract, both for Leipold and KU’s assistant coaches. His annual payout is broken down between base salary and a “professional services payment.” Leipold will make $5 million in 2023, with his total payout increasing by $100,000 annually. Thus, for the 2029 season, he will make $5.6 million.
As far as annual bonuses go, there are six bowl-related ones in the contract, ranging from $100,000 for reaching a non New Year’s 6 game to $500,000 for playing in the National Championship Game. Additionally, Leipold can earn $150,000 if Kansas plays for a Big 12 Championship. He can also earn bonuses for hitting or surpassing seven wins in a regular season, finishing ranked in a season-end major national poll and earning coach of the year honors, among others.
KU’s assistant coaches will also have their salary pool increased to $5 million starting in 2023, with a $100,000 annual increase.
If Leipold elects to terminate the contract before it expires, which would be relevant in case he is hired away to a different program, the buyout begins at $6 million following the 2023 season, decreasing annually by $1 million. If he leaves prior to the start of next season, the buyout cost is $12.5 million.
The buyout section of the contract is also where KU’s commitment to improved facilities and infrastructure comes into play.
Two clauses in that section pertain to renovations for the Anderson Family Football Complex and David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Those sections read as such:
E. The parties further agree that if KU has not made meaningful and substantial progress toward renovating the Anderson Family Football Complex by July 1, 2023, Head Coach shall have the right to terminate the Agreement and any applicable Release Payment under Section 17.C shall be waived. For purposes of this section, “meaningful and substantial” shall mean the renovations and/or physical construction of the structure and/or grounds shall have commenced.
F. The parties agree that if KU has not made meaningful and substantial progress toward either adding additional square footage to Anderson Family Football Complex or stadium renovations by December 15, 2023, Head Coach shall have the right to terminate the Agreement and any applicable Release Payment under Section 17.C shall be waived. For purposes of this section, “meaningful and substantial” shall mean the physical construction of the structure and/or Page 24 of 28 grounds shall have commenced.
In other words, Leipold can terminate the contract with no penalty if Kansas hasn’t taken tangible steps toward improving its facilities by the dates listed above.
The cost of a buyout is also cut in half if KU director of athletics Travis Goff is no longer employed by the university.
The “Other” section of Leipold’s new deal also makes mention of the program’s Name, Image and Likeness efforts:
C. Athletics endeavors to make good faith efforts regarding name, image, and likeness with the aspirations to achieve a nationally competitive program by engaging boosters and supporters in a manner consistent with any applicable laws and regulations.
In a statement released by KU Athletics, Leipold said, in part: ““I am very thankful for Chancellor [Douglas] Girod and Travis Goff and their commitment to this program and our entire staff. My wife Kelly and I couldn’t be more excited to know we are going to be staying in Lawrence for a very long time. We have said from the start how happy we are here, and that we plan on being here for a very long time.”
Goff also offered a statement, in part saying: “When we hired Lance Leipold 19 months ago, we were confident we had found the ideal fit for KU and that has been reinforced every single day since his arrival. In short order, Lance and his family have engrained themselves in the Lawrence community and have made an impact that extends far beyond the football program, to the broader University and Lawrence communities. This new contract, along with the upcoming investment in our facilities, are a direct reflection of our profound commitment to building a first-class football program – one that will be a point of pride for all Jayhawks for years to come.
The full contract can be viewed via the KU Athletics website.