2016 Purdue Football Coaching Search: Lance Leipold
Candidate Tier: MAC-attack
Who Is He?
Lance Leipold is currently the head coach at Buffalo, where they’re in the midst of a painful 1-5 season after a surprising 5-7 first year under Leipold.
Previously, Leipold was probably the greatest coach in NCAA DIII history, and that’s not some kind of backhanded joke. He was the head coach at Wisconsin-Whitewater for 8 seasons, and they won 6 DIII National Championships.
Yeah, that’s not a typo. 6 DIII National Championships in 8 years, and one runner-up finish.
He went 109-6 in those eight seasons at UWW, which seems pretty good regardless of the level of competition. He took over for Jeff Quinn, who had one successful 8-5 season during his five year tenure and is currently an ND assistant, and seemingly didn’t do much with the Buffalo job. The jury is still out on Leipold, it’s far too early to write the book on a coach who is used to winning at the level he had at UWW.
Why would he be successful at Purdue?
Maybe? Leipold was known as an offensive, pass-heavy coach, which seems to fit well at Purdue. But DIII is a liiiittle different than the Big Ten. I think Leipold has a shot at a Big Ten or ACC job in a few years, because you don’t win that much by accident, but it’s really too early to tell for sure right now.
Why could he flop at Purdue?
Though Leipold scored a *lot* at UWW, he wasn’t an innovator. He just executed better than a most of his opposing teams, and that won’t work when you’re going up against the Harbaugh-Urban-Dantonio gauntlet in the Big Ten.
Would he come to Purdue?
Eventually, absolutely. I think Leipold would be an interesting candidate at a Purdue-level school if he turns Buffalo around, and I think he’s absolutely got his eyes on a Power 5 job (particularly in the Midwest or Northeast, think of a Purdue/Syracuse-level job). But he’s not there yet.