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Lance Leipold contract confirms big commitment to football program.

The details for the new contract for the Kansas Jayhawks head coach were released today.
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The Kansas Jayhawks and Head Coach Lance Leipold have made it official: a new contract has been signed that is expected to keep the coach in Lawrence for the foreseeable future. It was reported last week that a contract had been agreed to in principle, but today's news confirmed the completion of that agreement. Leipold's new contract runs through the 2029 season, and total compensation starts at $5 million annually.

The compensation is structured as $500,000 per year base salary, a $600,000 per year royalty for the use of his name, image and likeness, and a $3,900,000 professional services payment for Multimedia Activities. The professional services payment increases by $100,000 for each year that the contract remains in force.

The $5.3 million average annual compensation puts Leipold just inside the top half of the conference among public institutions. Oklahoma's Brent Venables and Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy both average above $7 million annually, while Texas' Steve Sarkisian's guarantees come out to just over $5.25 million per year. Baylor and TCU are private and do not publicly release their contract information.

The bump in salary is substantial for Leipold, who was reportedly earning an annual average of $2.6 million after the extension signed earlier this season. And it's not like the increase wasn't warranted, given how quickly Leipold has turned around the fortunes of the football program.

Another key feature of the agreement is the stability it brings to the program, with the listed buyout amounts being substantial should Leipold be hired away for a different job. If Leipold terminated the contract on or before April 30, 2023, he would owe Kansas $12.5 million. This number drops to $6 million after April 30, 2024, and then another $1 million annually after that. If Kansas were to terminate the contract without cause, then they would owe Leipold 80% of all remaining amounts on the contract.

But the coach salary and buyout numbers aren't the most impressive part. The contract provides for a total salary pool of $5 million for assistant coaches and the head strength coach, an amount that goes up by $100,000 each season. On top of that, there is an additional pool of $2.5 million for all other football staff which also increases by $100,000 each season.

Additionally, the contract includes a clause that provides for a review of Leipold's compensation, the coaching staff salary pool and the other staff salary pool each season. If any of those numbers are not in the top half of the Big 12 conference, then they will be adjusted to bring them into the top half. That's a huge commitment.

So in all, Kansas has committed $12.5 million for the Kansas staff in year one of the contract, with an additional $300,000 committed each season. And all of that is on top of any bonus payments that are earned for performance under the contract. Those bonuses include a minimum of $100,000 for a bowl game appearance, $150,000 for appearing in the Big 12 Championship game, and $100,000 for being named National Coach of the Year by at least one of five publications.

The initial reports characterized this as a substantial investment in the Kansas football program. After reading through the contract, I have to agree. And with additional details of the stadium improvement project still to come, the extent of that support still isn't fully known yet.

You can find the entire Leipold contract here.

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