University at Buffalo athletic director Mark Alnutt was sad to see football coach Lance Leipold leave for Kansas, but mentioned in last Friday’s press conference that he didn’t fault Leipold for accepting the kind of money Kansas was offering.
It turns out Kansas was willing to offer Leipold more than triple his salary to sign a lucrative six-year deal with the struggling Big 12 program.
Leipold’s 2020 contract extension with UB paid him a base salary of $474,300 and included $150,000 in additional compensation for a total of $624,300 in annual pay, before factoring in bonuses, perks and raises.
Leipold’s contract with Kansas, obtained by News 4 through the Kansas Open Records Act, pays $500,000 in base salary, $340,000 in annual licensing royalties and $1.36 million in additional compensation they term “Multimedia Activities.” That brings Leipold to a total of $2.2 million, more than 3.5 times his UB compensation.
Leipold also gets significant raises in each year of the contract. His “Multimedia Activities” compensation raises by $200,000 in the second and third years of his deal, by $300,000 in the fourth year, and by $200,000 in the following years. His base compensation is scheduled to exceed $3 million over the life of the contract.
Leipold will earn an additional $75,000 bonus each year his team posts an Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 970 or above. He can earn $50,000 for winning seven games and $100,000 for making a bowl game, among other bonuses.
If Leipold were to leave Kansas for another job, his contract buyout is as follows:
- $6 million if contract terminated on or before December 31, 2021
- $5 million if contract terminated on or before December 31, 2022
- $4 million if contract terminated on or before December 31, 2023
- $3 million if contract terminated on or before December 31, 2024
- $2 million if contract terminated on or before December 31, 2025
- $1 million if contract terminated after December 31, 2025
The contract also contains a provision expressly stating the university will pay for Leipold’s $600,000 buyout from his UB contract.
Leipold finished his Bulls career with a 37-33 record, making him the winningest coach in UB history. He also led UB to its first two bowl victories in 2019 and 2020.
Kansas has been in the Big 12 cellar for more than a decade. The last time the Jayhawks won more than one conference game was 2008. Kansas went 0-9 last season and is 18-99 overall in the past ten seasons.
Leipold is the second recent UB coach to have his contract multiplied by a school in a major conference. Men’s basketball coach Nate Oats left for Alabama in 2019 after having his contract tripled, going from $837,000 to $2.45 million.
Leipold’s full contract is below; app users, click here.
Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here.