Kansas coach Leipold signs lucrative contract extension

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Lance Leipold has signed his lucrative contract extension at Kansas, which includes a massive pay raise for the Jayhawks’ football coach along with his assistants and staff, and could keep him tied to the school through the 2029 season.

Under terms of the contract, which was agreed to last week and made public Tuesday, Leipold will make $5 million in the first year of the deal with annual $100,000 increases. Leipold also gets a $750,000 signing bonus while his buyout rises to $12.5 million before gradually decreasing over time.

His original contract was a $16.5 million, six-year pact that paid him $2.2 million last year with $200,000 increases each season. Leipold had a year added to the deal Sept. 1 before leading the Jayhawks to a 5-0 start and spot in the Top 25; the Jayhawks dealt with injuries down the stretch and finished 6-6 for their first bowl appearance since 2008.

“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,” Kansas athletic director Travis Goff said. “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 contract includes numerous incentives: $500,000 for playing for a national championship, $350,000 for appearing in the College Football Playoff semifinal, $250,000 for the quarterfinals and $200,000 for the first round. Leipold would make $150,000 for playing in a New Year’s Six bowl game, $100,000 for any other bowl game and $150,000 for playing for the Big 12 championship. He also could earn $50,000 simply for reaching seven regular-season wins.

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Other benefits include $100,000 for being national coach of the year, $50,000 for Big 12 coach of the year and $75,000 for academic benchmarks. Leipold also gets the use of two cars, $125,000 in private air travel, tickets to football and basketball games and memberships at the Jayhawk Club and Lawrence Country Club.

The contract also takes care of Leipold’s staff, allocating a pool of $5 million for assistant coaches and the strength coach with an additional $100,000 available each year, and $2.5 million for the rest of the football staff with the same increases.

“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,” said Leipold, whose name had surfaced in connection to open jobs at Wisconsin and Nebraska that have since been filled.

“We have said from the start how happy we are here, and that we plan on being here for a very long time,” Leipold said. “Since the moment we arrived, we have been welcomed and accepted by the Lawrence and KU communities, and we are very grateful. We are very proud of the progress the program has made over the last 18 months and even more excited about what the future holds as we continue to build a program that will make Jayhawk fans everywhere proud.”

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