Lance Leipold meets with Jayhawks shortly after arriving in Lawrence
After arriving in Lawrence on Friday, one of new Kansas football coach Lance Leipold’s first stops was at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, where he addressed the Jayhawks following their 14th spring practice.
“I could not be more proud for the opportunity to work with you,” Leipold said, upon introducing himself to the team, as seen in a video posted to the KU football program’s social media accounts.
“Everything I’ve heard about you, your character, your work ethic and where this program is heading,” Leipold told the players, “could not get me more excited.”
Leipold’s introduction came on the same day he was hired and on the eve of KU’s spring game.
Emmett Jones, the team’s interim head coach before Athletic Director Travis Goff found a permanent replacement for Les Miles, had led the Jayhawks through the entirety of the spring schedule.
Jones, already a popular assistant entering his third year as the program’s receivers coach, had drawn support from many of the current players, some of whom hoped Jones would be hired to take over.
“I know it hasn’t been easy. I know a lot of this you don’t control,” Leipold told the players, many of whom were taking a knee and listening intently after a light Friday practice. “You can control your attitude and your effort, and how you go about it each day.”
The new coach said he was excited to watch the spring game Saturday night, because he would get his first impression of “what this football team — what our football team — is going to be about.”
The players, Leipold said he understood, have questions and surely want to know what’s going to happen with the rest of the assistant coaches on staff, who have led them throughout the spring.
KU’s head coach said he was about to go speak with the current staff after he met with the players.
He also plans, Leipold went on, to have “a lot of meetings” and sit down with every player to talk more with each one and learn about their various backgrounds.
Although winning at KU, he warned, won’t be easy or happen “like that,” Leipold said, snapping his fingers, “we will win here, I promise you,” the coach added.
“All I ask is for your best,” Leipold said in the closing moment of the video.
Leipold is scheduled to have an introductory press conference on Monday.