Kansas football coach Lance Leipold signs new contract with big raise, no extra years

Kansas football coach Lance Leipold has signed a new contract, the school announced on Tuesday. And it’s set to make him a top-three-paid coach in the Big 12, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported.

Here are the details of his new agreement, which adds no additional years to the contract but does significantly increase his pay.

Leipold, between December 1, 2023, and April 30, 2025 (17 months), will make $7,791,667 between his professional services and royalty payments. He will also receive a $1 million signing bonus. That’s on top of a $500,000 base salary from his previous contract.

Here’s what his salary will look like over the following five seasons, assuming his base salary remains at $500K (retention bonuses not included):

  • 2025 season: $5.65 million + $500K base salary | $6.15m

  • 2026 season: $5.8 million + $500K base salary | $6.3m

  • 2027 season: $5.95 million + $500K base salary | $6.45m

  • 2028 season: $6.1 million + $500K base salary | $6.6m

  • 2029 season: $6.25 million + $500K base salary | $6.75m

Over that five-year span, Leipold will make an average of $6.45 million, plus additional $500K retention bonuses after each season starting in 2024. Factoring in those retention bonuses, contract incentives and his $1 million signing bonus, Leipold will average more than $7 million per year over the next six seasons.

Here’s a closer look at Leipold’s buyout.

If Leipold terminated his deal in the next month or two, he would owe Kansas $6 million. Starting on May 1, 2024, his buyout drops as follows:

  • May 1, 2024 — Buyout reduced to $5 million

  • May 1, 2025 — Buyout reduced to $4 million

  • May 1, 2026 — Buyout reduced to $3 million

  • May 1, 2027 — Buyout reduced to $2 million

  • May 1, 2028 — Buyout reduced to $1 million

Leipold also has performance bonuses for an AP Top 25 finish ($50K), reaching seven wins ($50K) and nine wins ($200K). Reaching the College Football Playoff will net him $200K, which will be upped to $250K if the Jayhawks advance to the quarterfinal of the 12-team field.

Participating in the Big 12 championship game also earns Leipold $150K.

Leipold received a contract extension in November 2022 after leading KU to its first bowl appearance in 14 years. His old contract began at $5.0 million for the 2023 season and was set to increase by $100,000 every year through 2029. The average per year of that deal was $5.3 million and the highest sum $5.6 million in 2029.

Leipold, who has coached the Jayhawks for three seasons, has seen the Jayhawks’ record improve year over year. He led KU to back-to-back bowl games the past two seasons for the first time since 2007 and 2008.

The Jayhawks (9-4, 5-4 Big 12) defeated UNLV in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl in December.

“We are incredibly proud of what our football program has accomplished over the first three seasons in Lawrence, and look forward to the continued challenge of bringing a consistent winner and championship home to the University of Kansas,” Leipold said in an athletics release. “With the alignment that exists between Chancellor (Douglas) Girod, Travis Goff and Kansas football, it gives us great confidence in the future of the Jayhawk program, and we are thankful and humbled by the support of the university and Kansas Jayhawk fans everywhere.”

KU’s investment in keeping Leipold in Lawrence comes at a pivotal time. As construction at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium continues, KU will play all of its 2024 home games in Kansas City — on both sides of the state line.

Two of KU’s home games will be played at Children’s Mercy Park, home of the Sporting KC, and four games will be played at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, where the Kansas City Chiefs play.

That means KU will be playing home games off campus in a year with Big 12 title — and potential College Football Playoff — aspirations.

“Today’s announcement is an indicator of two absolute truths surrounding Kansas football — Lance Leipold is among the very best coaches and leaders in the country and the University of Kansas continues to be unwavering in its commitment to building a championship-caliber football program for the long haul,” Kansas athletic director Travis Goff said in the release. “Since Lance and his staff arrived in Lawrence, our program has seen exponential growth in every facet both on and off the field.

“Winning nine games and earning a bowl trophy is an incredible accomplishment, but we are equally proud of the team for earning the highest grade point average in program history. Every aspect of our program is on an unprecedented positive trajectory, and we are eager to continue this prodigious build with Lance.”