Lance Leipold’s new salary, buyout revealed with Kansas football contract extension

Charlie Riedel/AP

Kansas football coach Lance Leipold has signed a new contract that will keep him at KU through the 2029 season, the Jayhawk athletic department announced Tuesday.

According to the contract details, Leipold’s contract begins at $5.0 million for the 2023 season and increases by $100,000 every year through 2029. It averages out to $5.3 million and tops out at $5.6 million in 2029.

The contract is listed in terms of base salary ($500,000) and professional services ($4.5 million).

His initial contract with KU was for six years, $16.5 million. He now will receive $5.0 million in 2023; $5.1 million in 2024; $5.2 million in 2025; $5.3 million in 2026; $5.4 million in 2027; $5.5 million in 2028 and $5.6 million in 2029.

Here are the buyout figures for the deal: If Leipold terminates the deal on or before April 30, 2023 it’s $12.5 million. The buyout drops to $6 million on May 1, 2023 and to $5 million on May 1, 2024.

The buyout drops to $4 million on May 1, 2025, and $3 million on May 1, 2026. Leipold’s buyout is $2 million on May 1, 2027, and $1 million starting on May 1, 2028.

In addition to various contract bonuses, Leipold’s salary could increase on April 1, 2025. The contract says Kansas and Leipold will “meet in good faith to evaluate whether or not” Leipold’s compensation and salary pools for staff and assistants are “at or within the top half of the Big 12 Conference.”

If any of those amounts are “not within the top half of the Big 12 Conference, Athletics will increase such amount(s) to be at or within the top half of the Big 12 Conference.” Excluded from those calculations will be “any university (that) has announced before April 1, 2025 that it intends to leave the Big 12 Conference,” such as Texas and Oklahoma.

“I am very thankful for Chancellor (Douglas) Girod and (athletic director) Travis Goff and their commitment to this program and our entire staff. 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,” second-year KU coach Leipold said Tuesday.

“We have said from the start how happy we are here, and that we plan on being here for a very long time. 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.”

The Jayhawks are 6-6 in year two of the Leipold era and headed to a bowl game. KU went 2-10 a year ago.

“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,” 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. We are thankful for our fan and alumni support this fall and, looking ahead, will challenge them to join us in our ambitious pursuits, starting by attending our bowl game and purchasing season tickets for the 2023 season.”

Chancellor Girod stated: “We are thrilled that coach Leipold will be leading our football program for years to come. Since joining us in Lawrence, coach Leipold has confirmed that he is among the nation’s best coaches, program builders and leaders, and he is clearly equipped to succeed in the new world of college athletics. Additionally, coach Leipold has shown tremendous commitment to the university and the community beyond football, and he recognizes the special role his team can play in our academic mission, student recruitment and alumni engagement. For all these reasons, he is exactly the right fit for KU, and we look forward to seeing him in Crimson and Blue in the years ahead.”

In this past season, KU played in front of three sellout crowds at Booth Memorial Stadium.

KU opened the season 5-0 for the first time since 2009 and hosted College GameDay (for football) for the first time in school history. KU earned its first national ranking in 675 weeks. The Jayhawks secured their first Big 12 road win in 13 seasons and ended a streak of 44 consecutive losses to ranked teams.