UB FOOTBALL HEAD COACH
Now in his sixth season, head coach Lance Leipold continues to build the Buffalo football program into a consistent winner.
Leipold led Buffalo to its first ever bowl win in 2019, defeating Charlotte, 31-9, in the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl. UB finished the 2019 campaign with a record of 8-5, its third straight season of bowl edibility and second straight bowl berth, both program firsts. Two of Buffalo’s four bowl berths in school history have come with Leipold at the helm.
Buffalo had a school-record 12 players named All-MAC in 2019, including running back Jaret Patterson who rushed for a school-record 1,799 yards and 19 touchdowns. The UB offense was paced by a rushing attack that has rolled up a program-best 3,256 yards on the ground. Running back Kevin Marks also rushed for 1,035 yards on the year, giving the Bulls two 1,000-yard running backs in the same season for the first time in school history.
The defense in 2019 was one of the best in program history. The Bulls ranked seventh nationally in total defense, allowing 291.9 yards per games and fourth nationally against the run, allowing 94.2 yards per game.
Leipold led the Bulls to a school-record 10-win campaign in 2018. The 10 wins, included a program-best 7-1 record in the Mid-American Conference, a MAC East Division title and the school's second trip to the MAC Championship game. Among the Bulls non-conference victories in 2018, included a 42-13 win at Rutgers, for the school's first-ever win over a Power 5 opponent. The Bulls earned an invitation to the 2018 Dollar General Bowl for just their third bowl game berth in program history.
Leipold was named the 2018 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year as well as a semifinalist for the George Munger College Coach of the Year Award, presented yearly by the Maxwell Football Club.
Buffalo had the finest offensive campaign in school history in 2018. The Bulls scored 484 points, 64 touchdowns and rolled up 5,803 yards of total offense on the season - all school records. Quarterback Tyree Jackson was named the MAC Offensive Player of the Year - the first UB player to ever win the award. Running back Jaret Patterson was named the MAC Freshman of the Year after becoming the first freshman in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. The Bulls had a school-record 10 players named to the All-MAC team, including six on the first team.
In 2017, he guided the Bulls to a 6-6 record and bowl eligibility for just the third time as an FBS program. The six wins were the fourth most in a season since the Bulls made the move to the FBS ranks in 1999.
The Bulls featured an explosive offense in 2017 that ranked second in the Mid-American Conference, averaging 432 yards per game and led the MAC with 291 passing yards per outing. UB’s 5,183 yards of total offense were the third most in school history for a single season. The Bulls produced 20 plays of 45 yards or more and those 20 plays came from 10 different players.
Buffalo posted key wins against Conference USA Champion Florida Atlantic as well as a nine-win Ohio team. The Bulls finished the season with three straight wins for the first time as an FBS program. In addition, UB’s six losses were by a total of 29 points, including two one-point losses and a three-point, seven-overtime loss.
In 2016, Leipold led a very young squad, featuring 42 new players. The Bulls were the fourth most inexperienced team in the nation. Buffalo earned impressive wins over Army (a bowl team) and Akron. Buffalo had four players named to the All-MAC team.
In 2015, his first with the Bulls, Leipold led UB to a 5-7 mark. He became the first UB head coach to win five games in his first season since Bob Deming went 6-3 in 1969.
Included in the Bulls five wins was a victory at Florida Atlantic - Buffalo’s first non-conference road win since the 2009 season.The Bulls won three road games in 2015 - the most in UB’s FBS era (since 1999).
The Bulls had five players named to the All-MAC football team in 2015, led by tight end Matt Weiser who was also named an Academic All-American – becoming the first UB football player in the modern era to earn the distinction.
Leipold was named the 25th head coach in the history of the Buffalo football program on December 1, 2014.
Leipold came to UB from Wisconsin-Whitewater where he compiled an astounding 109-6 record and won six Division III National Championships over his eight seasons. A six-time National Coach of the Year, Leipold reached 100 career victories faster than any other coach in NCAA history – at any level.
Leipold has gathered multiple honors from as many as five football-related organizations. He earned his sixth American Football Coaches Association Division III Coach of the Year award in 2014. He has won the award more times than any active coach at any level. He passed the late Joe Paterno, who was a five-time recipient of the award.
In his first season as head coach at Whitewater, The Warhawks went 14-1 and won the national title. He led the Warhawks back to the national championship game in 2008, but they lost to Mount Union, 31-26. Wisconsin-Whitewater went 15-0, winning the national championship in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and won 46 straight games over that span. Following a 7-3 season in 2012, UWW went a perfect 15-0 and won the national championship in 2013 and followed with another perfect 15-0 season and a national title in 2014.
In Division III, where athletic scholarships aren’t a part of the game, Leipold was able to recruit top-notch talent to the campus in southeastern Wisconsin. During his tenure, running back Justin Beaver earned the Gagliardi Trophy as the top player in Division III. Brent Allen earned the Division III Rimington Award as the top center. Jeff Schebler was the first recipient of the Fred Mitchell Award, given to the top placekicker in Division II or III. Tailback Levell Coppage earned D3football.com Offensive Player of the Year accolades, and Cole Klotz was selected D3football.com Defensive Player of the Year. Defensive back Jared Kiesow was named an NCAA Elite 88 Award winner. The Warhawks have piled up 56 All-America honors under Leipold’s tutelage.
A native of Jefferson, WI, Leipold began his coaching career at Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1987 as a quarterbacks coach and then wide receivers coach. He moved to the University of Wisconsin from 1991-93 as a graduate assistant and helped the Badgers to a Big Ten title and a Rose Bowl appearance in 1993.
As an assistant coach at Division II Nebraska-Omaha from 1994-2000, Leipold helped turn the Mavericks from a 1-10 team in 1994 into three-time North Central Conference champions during his tenure. After being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2000, he moved on to the University of Nebraska, where he served for three seasons under current Ohio head coach Frank Solich. He was on the same staff as former UB head coach Turner Gill. The Cornhuskers competed in the national championship game in 2001 and earned bowl bids in 2002 and 2003.
He returned to Nebraska-Omaha to serve as associate head coach and offensive coordinator from 2004-06. The Mavericks finished 8-3 and won the conference championship each of his three seasons.
Leipold is a 1987 graduate of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he was a standout quarterback for the Warhawks. He ranks second in school history in career pass attempts (647), fourth in yards (4,277), sixth in completions (303) and tied for 10th with 27 touchdowns. He was inducted into the Whitewater Hall of Fame in 2003. He was inducted into the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2018.
Leipold and his wife, Kelly, have a daughter, Lindsey, and a son, Landon.