Coaching at any level can make a huge difference. We have witnessed Bill Self’s halftime and end-game adjustments winning us many games.
Growing up as a coach’s kid, I have been lucky to witness great coaching that resulted in nine state championships. On the flip side, I have watched high school coaches run the same three predictable plays with little success all year. Throw The Ball Clarke!
We as fans need to recognize what we are witnessing with Coach Leipold at the helm. His record speaks for itself. Leipold led NCAA Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater to an amazing six National Championships in eight years! During that time, he had a remarkable record of 109-6.
From there, Leipold took over an abysmal Buffalo squad. He took a limited roster and went 7-17 in his first two seasons. His final four seasons at Buffalo saw coach go 30-16, leading Buffalo to two bowl victories in three appearances.
The remarkable story has continued at Kansas. He took a team that consistently was featured on ESPN’s bottom 10 and has led us to back-to-back bowl games!
Taking over a team that went winless the previous season, Leipold had his work cut out for him. He led the Jayhawks to a 2-10 opening season with the fridge left bare from years of inept coaching and recruiting.
Since then, coach has led the Jayhawks to a turnaround in the last two seasons. Leipold led us to a 6-7 record and the first bowl game since Mangino coached the squad in 2008. This year, we are off to a hot start at 6-2 and already bowl-eligible with many winnable games still on the schedule.
Respectability left Kansas football after the firing of Mark Mangino following the 2009 season. He had a great run, highlighted by the Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech and one of my favorite Jayhawk post-game quotes by Aqib Talib. When he discussed his pick-six, Aqib repeated: “I felt like Deion!”
Since then, the eras have been rough. Like a bad song playing on repeat, Jayhawk fans have endured a batch of bad albums. There were no friendship bracelets passed out with the fan base with these clueless coaches.
Turner Gill led the Jayhawks for two seasons from 2010-2011, going 5-19 over his two years. Sadly, this was one of the most successful eras over the next four coaches.
Charlie Weis was hired in 2012 and brought a big name and offensive mind. Unfortunately, he didn’t bring many wins with him. Charlie went 6-22 over his tenure from 2012-2014. He was fired four games into the 2014 season, starting out 2-2 that year. He was replaced by interim head coach Clint Bowen, who went just 1-7 the rest of the season.
Next was the David Beaty era from 2015-2018. Coach Beaty went 6-42 over his time and proved to be a broken record with nothing to show but a Kansas football program further buried by a bad coach.
Les Miles was the last era before Leipold. He brought a big name and past success from LSU. He could still chew on grass, but his coaching appeared to have been mowed over and gone. Miles led the Jayhawks through two seasons from 2019-2020, going 3-18.
Fortunately, these eras are over and we have moved on. Unfortunately, the school didn’t swipe left on the above coaches, but we have lived and learned. Put away, never forgotten, but never spoken about again.
AD Travis Goff finally made the home run hire in Coach Leipold. He is a proven winner. It doesn’t matter what level you are at a winner finds a way to win at whatever level they are at. We now have that, and we need to enjoy the ride while it lasts. We have the right man in place now. And we as fans need to continue to support and do our part to keep Coach Leipold in Lawrence as long as possible.
We have been through enough bad eras. We caught our Kelce in Coach Leipold. Let’s enjoy the ride and do everything we can to keep him a Jayhawk.
As always Rock Chalk and Let’s Go!