BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Lance Leipold went 109-6 in seven years at D-III Wisconsin-Whitewater, amassing 100 wins faster than any coach in NCAA history, winning 6 D-III titles along the way.
In his first season at UB, he went 5-7, but the record doesn’t tell the whole story.
The Bulls had a handful of down-to-the-wire finishes that didn’t go their way, and were competitive in nearly every game they played. The defense lowered its points-allowed-per-game significantly and finished second in the nation in defensive touchdowns. Improvement was certainly visible, even if the expectations weren’t quite met.
Five wins is not a precedent the Bulls expect to maintain for long, not under a coach with a proven winning pedigree, on a team that returns plenty of weapons.
“I think that’s one thing that makes our conference very unique is that it is so competitive,” Leipold told News 4 Sports’ Tom Martin on Thursday. “You’ve gotta compete for four quarters. We did it at times, just not enough.”
The Bulls lose quarterback Joe Licata, but they keep a handful of weapons, including running back Jordan Johnson.
“He’s a young man who has worked really hard and had a nice season last year,” Leipold said. “He’s ready to become a top-flight running back in our conference and someone who is recognized throughout the nation.”
The Bulls also bring back wide receiver Marcus McGill, tight end Mason Schreck and plenty of defensive stalwarts, including cornerback Boise Ross and defensive ends Brandon Crawford and Demone Harris.
“Defensively, you’ve gotta stop the run or you’re in for some long nights,” Leipold said, pointing to interior defensive linemen Max Perisse and Chris Ford as key contributors.
For more from Coach Leipold, check out the video above. The Bulls open their season next Friday at home against Albany.