The Kansas Jayhawks are the best story going in college football. KU is off to a 5-0 start to the season and a Top 20 ranking, which is naturally bringing plenty of attention to second-year head coach Lance Leipold.
Leipold has already been connected to the Nebraska job and then the Wisconsin job, after the Badgers fired Paul Chryst on Sunday.
Leipold was asked about the job rumors during his press conference on Tuesday.
“We’re happy here. We have no plans on going anywhere,” Leipold said.
He added, “Anything else is rumors. Some of these things are happening while we’re in the film room — I didn’t even know some of the stuff Sunday until later in the evening, when I’m getting all these text messages. I had no idea.”
Wisconsin’s move to fire Paul Chryst was a surprise across college football. Despite the 2-3 start for the Badgers, Chryst won at least 10 games in four of his first five seasons. He led the Badgers to a bowl game every year, including last season, when they went 9-4 and finished second in the Big Ten West. And twice he led Wisconsin to top-10 finishes in the final AP poll.
Leipold commented on the firing, saying, “Paul Chryst is a close friend. I’ve known Paul since his late father tried to recruit me to Wisconsin-Platteville. That’s a good family, a good man. That’s a guy who averaged nine wins a year and got let go. But you know, that’s a part of what we signed up for these days. It’s a changing world in a lot of different ways and that’s unfortunate.”
Leipold already received a one-year extension in May despite having won just two games last season, a signal the University saw what he was steadily building in Lawrence after the failed Les Miles experiment.
Leipold’s average annual salary is now $2.6 million, which still makes him the lowest-paid coach in the Big 12 Conference. Oklahoma State made Mike Gundy the conference’s highest-paid coach at $7.5 million.
And now with College GameDay coming to town this weekend, expect the chatter around Leipold to only continue. KU better be ready to open the wallet.