Kansas football coach Lance Leipold reiterates he’s ‘extremely happy’ at KU

photo by: Nick Krug/Journal-World

Kansas head coach Lance Leipold and the Jayhawks get ready to take the field against Tennessee Tech on Friday, Sept. 2, 2022 at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

There’s been no shortage of speculation about Lance Leipold’s future this college football season, and the topic came up again on Tuesday during his weekly press conference.

Just two days removed from landing on a list of possible replacements for the recently fired Paul Chryst at Wisconsin, Leipold on Tuesday was asked how he handles such distractions with his team.

Earlier this season, Leipold’s name landed on a similar list for the Nebraska opening and he remains a popular figure in Lincoln, as well.

Before his response on Tuesday, Leipold offered a disclaimer.

“Paul Chryst is a friend,” he said of the now-former Badgers head coach. “I’ve known Paul since probably high school. I knew his late father. That’s a good family, good man, and it’s just unfortunate with guys who average nine wins a year getting let go. But it’s part, I guess, of what we’ve signed up for these days, and it’s a changing world in a lot of ways and that’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate for locker rooms and I think we lose that, as well.”

He continued: “There’s a lot of components, and I’m not questioning anyone’s decision because there’s a lot of factors that go into (it) that none of us really know.”

Those words would have rang true for Leipold even if he was nowhere near the UW lists. As it stands, though, the Wisconsin native is expected by many to be a serious option for the Badgers, even while Leipold has no interest in discussing any of it.

“I’m focused on this,” he said of his job at Kansas, repeating similar words he uttered when he was asked about the Nebraska opening a few weeks ago.

Given the fact that he has led KU to a 5-0 start and back into the national polls for the first time in 674 weeks, Leipold spent most of the day Sunday looking ahead to this week’s game with TCU and searching for ways to move the Jayhawks to 6-0.

“We’re in film rooms and other stuff; I don’t even know what’s going on,” he said Tuesday. “I didn’t even know some of the stuff that was going on Sunday until later in the evening. All of a sudden, I got all these text messages.”

Those messages no doubt sought his reaction to Chryst’s firing and may have included inquiries about whether he would have interest in the job.

Leipold has made it clear that he’s not talking about any of that, though, and he’d prefer to keep his focus on the job at hand. “Be where your feet are at,” is how he phrased it when talking on Ryan Leaf’s “The Straight Line” podcast recently.

The more KU wins, the more the distractions figure to mount and the more interest Leipold will attract from Nebraska, Wisconsin and who knows where else.

Regardless of which school is next or how long the questions linger, you can expect to hear Leipold say the same things whenever he’s asked.

“We’re extremely happy here,” he reiterated Tuesday. “We have no plans of going anywhere, and anything like that is just, you know, rumors.”

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