The news that UB Athletic Director Danny White has hired Lance Leipold as the Bulls new Head Coach is a bit of a surprise to me. Leipold has an unbelievable record at Wisconsin-Whitewater, a Div III program with five national titles, but the jump from III to I is huge.

White made national news when he hired Bobby Hurley as the men’s basketball coach because he was after all, Bobby Hurley. While Hurley had no head coaching experience he grew up in the sport with a father and brother who were coaches and of course he had a great playing career. Hurley seems to have earned the job already as both a bench coach and a recruiter, with even better prospects committing to the University next year.

Recruiting is key to any Div I athletic program and for Leipold that will be the challenge. Jeff Quinn was as enthusiastic a coach as you’ll ever find, but he was ultimately unable to bring in blue-chip recruits as his predecessor Turner Gill did. For that reason I am surprised White did not hire an assistant coach with Div experience who had experience as a big time recruiter at a top twenty program.

Leipold’s record is almost too good to be true. Winning 106 games with only 6 losses in eight years and claiming the national title in five of those is well, unbelievable! However, knowing the X’s and O’s is one thing, talking star high school athletes into coming to UB is something else.

Leipold will point to Khalil Mack, James Starks and Brandon Oliver as players who most recently went from UB to the NFL and he’ll pitch the new field house and facilities Danny White is adding to the facilities. All of those will help, but recruiting is about making a personal connection and that will be the big test for a coach who had most of his players come to him in Div III.

Danny White lets no grass grow under his feet when making coaching decisions. There are still plenty of fans in the community who are upset with his dismissal of Reggie Witherspoon and his quick trigger on Quinn in the middle of the season was a surprise. But, White has a vision and he obviously feels Leipold will help that vision become a reality.



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