Leipold strives to finish what he started at UW-Whitewater - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Leipold strives to finish what he started at UW-Whitewater

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It was the day after UW-Whitewater's second round playoff victory over Wabash College. All was quiet in Whitewater. Then, quarterback Matt Behrendt's phone started buzzing.

"I had about 10 or 15 text messages from different teammates saying, 'Oh, is coach really leaving?"

Head coach Lance Leipold was going to become the next head football coach at the University of Buffalo.

"It wasn't in the plan necessarily that I would leave, and I said that when I got the job. The opportunity presented itself, and it was one I felt I needed to do."

Before Leipold leaves for Buffalo, he's in Whitewater working to finish the job he started with the Warhawks.

"I think our players know how much we care about them. We're trying to fulfill and make sure we have a great experience and finish this year correctly."

Friday night, the Warhawks will look to send their coach out with a win in the Stagg Bowl. A victory would give UW-Whitewater a sixth national title in eight years.

"I want it for them. They've worked hard to earn it. I want them to have that chance and like I said we're just hoping for a good performance and they play their best football Friday night."

It would be a possible storybook ending to Leipold's legendary tenure in Whitewater.

"I could never in my wildest dreams think we could do what we've been able to do. You always want to leave a job better than you find it and to see what we've been able to do is something that we're proud of."

The Warhawks play Mount Union at 6 p.m. Friday in Salem, Virginia for the Division III National Championship.

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