BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana football has a new head coach and Curt Cignetti will have a load of support behind him to build the Indiana program back up.
Indiana made the hiring of Cignetti official on Thursday afternoon. Cignetti comes to Bloomington after five years leading the James Madison program to a 52-9 record and bowl eligibility this season.
Not only was he named Sun Belt Coach of the Year, but he also led the Dukes to an 11-1 record in just its second season at the FBS level.
Cignetti, 62, is ready for his next challenge with Indiana football — a program that went just 3-9 a season ago and has gone 3-24 in the Big Ten over the last three years.
“This is really hard to leave, but sometimes you have to make hard decisions and get uncomfortable again to grow, and I’m too young to stop growing,” Cignetti said in a statement. “This is a challenge, a big challenge, but I’m confident like all the other challenges I’ve had in my career as a head coach that we’re going to open some eyes nationally and in the Big Ten Conference. I will miss JMU and have nothing but fond memories, and I know the history is great here and the people are even better. Go Dukes!”
The support that Cignetti will have at Indiana is unlike a coach has ever received while in Bloomington.
Hoosiers Connect, one of two official NIL collectives for Indiana Athletics, announced a fundraising campaign called ‘Back the Rock’ on Thursday following the hiring.
An anonymous donor pledged to match up to $1 million funds for all donations made to Hoosiers Connect and Hoosiers For Good through the end of the year.
This campaign comes right on the heels of Hoosiers Connect’s launch of ‘In for Indiana’ just two weeks ago.
Below is the full release from Hoosiers Connect.
Hoosiers Connect, the Official NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) Collective of IU Athletics, is excited to announce a new ‘Back the Rock’ fundraising campaign following the recent announcement of Coach Cignetti as Indiana University Football new head coach. Hoosiers Connect is committed to supporting Coach Cignetti with NIL resources as he takes on his new role and the launch of the ‘Back the Rock’ campaign is the first of many steps to mark this commitment.
“We are excited to welcome Coach Cignetti to the Hoosier family and can’t wait to pack the rock with him and the Hoosiers next season,” said Tyler Harris, Executive Director of Hoosiers Connect. “Hoosiers Connect is committed to ensuring that IU’s Football program has the NIL opportunities it needs to be successful.”
Hoosiers Connect gives donors the option to specify which of IU’s 24 Division I sports their donation impacts. The ‘Back the Rock’ campaign will focus on soliciting donations specifically earmarked to IU’s Football program. This campaign comes on the heels of Hoosiers Connect’s launch of ‘In for Indiana’and successful day of giving on November 14 which resulted in nearly $500,000 raised in 24 hours.
On November 14, Hoosiers Connect also announced an anonymous donor’s pledge to match $1 million in funds for all donations made to Hoosiers Connect and Hoosiers For Good through the end of the year. Donations made during the ‘Back the Rock’ campaign will be included in the matching funds committed on November 14.
“A successful and robust NIL program is essential for the success for all athletic programs at IU, including IU Football,” said Harris. “We hope this new campaign will show a widespread outpouring of support for Coach Cignetti and our Football athletes.”
For more information about the ‘Back the Rock’ campaign and to donate, visit inforindiana.com.
SEE ALSO: ‘I am excited to lead this program forward and change the culture, mindset, and expectation level of Hoosier football.’: Indiana football officially announces Curt Cignetti as head coach
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