Washington Huskies helmet sits during a football game against the Washington State Cougars in the second half at Martin Stadium. The Huskies won 28-15. Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

With Washington Huskies’ head coach Kalen DeBoer leaving for Alabama, there’s been lots of talk about who could take that role next. One name that was getting significant buzz was Kansas coach Lance Leipold. But, while a FootballScoop report Sunday had Leipold “at the epicenter” of the Washington coaching search, he soon tweeted that he was excited about staying with Kansas, and the outlet added that he turned the Huskies down in favor of an extension with the Jayhawks:

It’s understandable why Leipold was a target for Washington and for new athletic director Troy Dannen, who just moved there from Tulane. Leipold just went 9-4 with the Jayhawks. And that marked a major turnaround from his first 2-10 season two years ago, their 0-9 mark in Les Miles’ final season in 2020, and their overall 21-108 record from 2010-2020 under Turner Gill, Charlie Weis, David Beaty, and Miles.

Before heading to Kansas, Leipold also previously found success at Buffalo. He coached there from 2015-20, going 37-33 overall and producing a sharp rise from where the Bulls were immediately before him. And he was great at Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he went 109-6 from 2007-2014 and won six Division III national titles. And his reputation of winning at every level seems like a fit with Dannen, who just found a lot of success with the Green Wave with a coach of similar reputation in Willie Fritz (who moved to Houston this offseason). So it’s not shocking that he was offered the job, but it is interesting that he turned it down.

It’s not necessarily expected to see the Kansas coach turn down a soon-to-be Big Ten school that just made it to the national championship game. In football, Washington would seem to have some advantages over the Jayhawks for sure. But there is a tough act to follow there in DeBoer, and the Huskies are facing major offseason attrition to the NFL Draft and the transfer portal. This also came after current Washington offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb said he wouldn’t be taking the head job there, with him later reported to be joining DeBoer at Alabama.

There still are lots of options for Washington. As per John Brice of FootballScoop, Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch “has been involved in the search and remains a viable candidate,” and “Chris Klieman [Kansas State] and other FBS head coaches have been vetted as well.” We’ll see where the Huskies land, and if their next target wants the job.



About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.