The Kansas Jayhawks will be missing from Big 12 media days in person on Thursday. The Jayhawks were set to introduce new head coach Lance Leipold on Thursday, along with wide receiver Kwamie Lassiter II and defensive back Kenny Logan Jr.
However, as was announced on Thursday morning by the Big 12 Conference, KU’s air transportation has been “weathered in” and instead coach Leipold will do his appearance remotely via Zoom.
Kansas is coming off an 0-9 campaign in 2020 that saw the program turn over both its head coach and its athletic director.
The Jayhawks and Les Miles parted ways in March after more details emerged about his interactions with female employees during his time as head coach at LSU. After a 2013 probe conducted by LSU, Miles was no longer allowed to have contact with female students. Miles also, reportedly, had to settle a harassment lawsuit with a former LSU student during that time.
After Miles left, athletic director Jeff Long — who hired Miles — was relieved of his duties. The Jayhawks hired Travis Goff, a Kansas graduate who was then the deputy athletic director at Northwestern, to replace Long. Goff hired Leipold, who was then the head coach at Buffalo University, to take over for Miles.
Leipold went 37-33 in six seasons as Buffalo coach, leading the Bulls to the MAC title game in 2018 and 2020 and picking up bowl wins each of the past two seasons. He helped lead the Bulls to the school’s first-ever national ranking in 2020. Prior to Buffalo, Leipold has won plenty across the Midwest. He won six Division IIII national titles as the head coach at Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he went 109-6 as a head coach.
At this point, a winning season would probably make the Kansas football faithful happy. The Jayhawks have not had a winning season since 2008, when they won eight games and reached the Insight Bowl. The Jayhawks reached the Orange Bowl the previous year, rising as high as No. 7 in the country and winning the Orange Bowl.
Since 2009, the Jayhawks have won 26 games and gone winless in two different seasons.
Leipold is the program’s seventh head coach, full-time or interim, since the 2009 season, which was Mark Mangino’s last in Lawrence.