Leipold grateful for Lubick’s work as analyst leaves for Nevada

photo by: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Washington quarterback Jake Browning, left, stands with co-offensive coordinator Matt Lubick, right, before an NCAA college football game against BYU, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, in Seattle.

After continuing to help the Kansas football staff from afar while battling leukemia, Matt Lubick has been hired as the new offensive coordinator for Nevada, the school announced Monday.

“Matt has obviously had a long battle, and it’s really gratifying to see him come out the other end,” Nevada coach Jeff Choate said in a press release. “One of the things he talked about with our team was gratitude, how grateful he was for the opportunity to coach at Nevada. And I can say the same thing — I’m extremely grateful that Matt is going to be our offensive coordinator. We’re very excited to have him in a position where he can engage with us now.”

Lubick served as a senior offensive analyst for Lance Leipold’s staff the past two seasons, where he was a key voice alongside former offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki and the rest of the assistants.

“I’m so happy for Matt,” Leipold said after KU’s spring practice Tuesday. “Really, I’m torn because I’m sad that he’s not part of our program, because not only is he an excellent football mind and coach, he’s even a better person.”

In October, Lubick shared the story of his leukemia diagnosis with ESPN. That article noted that he had been closely involved with helping KU’s offensive coaches plan their strategy for Oklahoma State, while also undergoing his treatment in Aurora, Colorado.

“That was rewarding,” Lubick told ESPN. “You don’t have to work during this stuff. I do it for therapy. The Kansas staff being so loving and caring and supportive has given me strength and given me purpose. It’s been therapeutic for me to keep (my) mind off stuff.”

Leipold added on Tuesday, “Even through all of this, to still see him jump on calls, even through his treatment, and still contribute to this program, it was truly amazing.”

A devoted runner, Lubick walked the length of a marathon, 26.2 miles, around the hospital where he was receiving treatment.

“I thought that was frickin’ amazing,” Leipold told The Athletic in November. “… I think it’s made us all in this building even more (appreciative) for what we have seeing how quickly it can all be turned upside down.”

This is Choate’s first year coaching at Nevada, a team that the Jayhawks played against last season. The Wolf Pack had running backs coach Mike Lynch serving as offensive coordinator prior to Lubick’s arrival.

FootballScoop had reported as early as December that Nevada was planning on hiring Lubick if his health cooperated; now, the move is official.

Leipold said that he, offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes and co-offensive coordinator Jim Zebrowski were on the road recruiting in the Denver area in January and were able to stop by and see Lubick for several hours.

“Again, we wish him all the best,” Leipold said. “Though he’s not part of the staff anymore, we’ll always be in contact with him.”

Lubick previously coached at schools such as Duke, Oregon, Washington and Nebraska.


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