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Indiana football hires Curt Cignetti as next head coach



Indiana football has hired Curt Cignetti
The Indiana football program has found its next head coach in former James Madison head coach Curt Cignetti.

The Indiana football program has found its new head coach in Curt Cignetti. Cignetti has spent the last five seasons at James Madison, has confirmed. Pete Thamel of ESPN had the first report.

Indiana Athletic Director Scott Dolson led a quick head coaching search that lasted just a week from the time it was officially announced that Tom Allen had been fired, and it wrapped up on Thursday.

Cignetti has led the Dukes to a 52-9 record in his tenure and was named the 2023 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year.

After arriving at James Madison in 2019, he led the Dukes to the FCS National Championship game in his first year. That season, he led the Dukes to a third overall ranking in scoring offense at 40 points per game.

Cignetti went 33-5 at the FCS level in three seasons.

The past two years have been no different at the FBS level. Currently James Madison is 11-1 following an 8-3 record in 2022. Throughout the last two seasons, the Dukes have been in and out of the top-25 consistently, receiving its first ever ranking(s) in the the AP poll.

Last season they averaged 37 points per game and this year they are currently at 35.1 points per game. They scored 36 points and had 395 yards in a win at Virginia in week two this year.

In two seasons at the FBS level, Cignetti has yielded three 1,000+ yard receivers, including two this year. They have also averaged 9.2 yards per pass attempt in the two years.

Before his arrival at James Madison, Cignetti coached at Elon and IU-Pennsylvania.

Prior to his arrival at Elon, it was a program that went 12-45 five previous seasons. He went 14-9 in his two seasons and helped them achieve their second and third FCS playoff appearances in program history.

He has an overall record of 119-35 as a head coach in 13 seasons.

His experience goes beyond his 13 years as a head coach, however. He spent four seasons as the wide receiver coach for Alabama from 2007-10, where he coached Julio Jones for three seasons and also was instrumental in the recruitments of running back and Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and other key members of the 2008 recruiting class.

Alabama would win 29 regular season games in a row between 2008 and 2010.

Cignetti was on staff at NC State prior to Alabama where he was the quarterbacks and tight ends coach. He spent seven seasons on staff, including four years with Phillip Rivers. Rivers was ACC Player of the year in 2003. Cignetti also recruited Super Bowl winning quarterback Russell Wilson to the Wolfpack before leaving for Alabama.

Cignetti got his career started at Pitt as a graduate assistant and would make other coaching stops at Davidson, Rice and Temple as well.

The Indiana football program is coming off of a 3-9 season and a 9-27 record over the last three years. In that span, Indiana football has gone just 3-24 in Big Ten games.

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.