Indiana University Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Dolson has named Curt Cignetti the 30th head football coach in program history.
Cignetti posted an 11-1 record in 2023, his fifth season as James Madison head coach. He had an overall mark of 52-9 (.853), including a 19-4 run over 2022 and 2023, JMU’s first two years as an FBS program.
Dolson released a statement on Thursday afternoon.
“I am very excited to welcome Curt Cignetti as the head football coach at Indiana University,” Dolson said. “We had a very talented and deep pool of candidates, and Curt stood out thanks to an incredible track record of success over more than four decades in college football. As a head coach he’s succeeded everywhere he’s been, and as an assistant he has been a part of championship cultures while working alongside some of the game’s best coaches. I appreciate the tremendous support throughout this process of Chair Quinn Buckner and the IU Board of Trustees and President Pam Whitten, all of whom were critical in making this day a reality.”
Cignetti, the 2023 Sun Belt Coach of the Year, has worked his way up the coaching ranks during a 41-year career, highlighted by a 119-35 (.773) record in 13 seasons as a head coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (2011-16), Elon (2017-18), and James Madison (2019-23). His teams reached the postseason on nine occasions and finished in the Top 25 nine times.
Cignetti also released a statement.
“I am excited to lead this program forward and change the culture, mindset, and expectation level of Hoosier football,” Cignetti said in the release. “I want to thank Director of Athletics Scott Dolson and President Pam Whitten, and I look forward to working with both in building something special at IU. Both share my vision and belief that big things are ahead for the IU program.”
🗣️ Coach Cig is ready to roll. pic.twitter.com/vcJpr0U9LW
— Indiana Football (@IndianaFootball) November 30, 2023
Dolson also sent out the following e-mail:
Dear Friend of IU Athletics,
I am excited to let Hoosier Nation know about our new head football coach – Curt Cignetti!
Curt comes to Bloomington with a highly-impressive list of credentials amassed over 41 seasons in college football. That includes the last 13 seasons as a head coach, where he’s compiled a 119-35 record and never had a losing season. Most recently, he’s spent the last five seasons at James Madison University, where he’s gone 52-9. During his time at JMU he oversaw the program’s transition from the FCS level to the FBS level in 2022. Since that move the Dukes have gone 19-4, including 11-1 this season and they are currently ranked in the nation’s Top 25.
In addition to his experience as a head coach, Curt has enjoyed success as an assistant coach at some of the nation’s premier programs at the P5 level. He was the quarterbacks coach at N.C. State from 2000-06, where he mentored future NFL star quarterback Philip Rivers. From there he went to Alabama in 2007 as a member of Nick Saban’s original staff. He served as Saban’s recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach from 2007-10, helping the Tide bring in top-five recruiting classes and win the national title in 2009.
Since becoming a head coach, Cignetti’s teams have been explosive offensively and stout defensively. On offense, James Madison has averaged at least 33 points/game in each of his five seasons and have led the conference in scoring four times. He’s had different starting quarterbacks in each of the last three seasons, and that trio has combined to throw for 10,816 yards, 119 touchdowns, and only 18 interceptions. Defensively, this year’s team leads the nation in rush defense and ranks second in sacks.
We had a very talented pool of candidates for the job, and we are extremely excited about the selection of Curt to be the next leader of our program. He is extremely excited to get to work and build Indiana Football into a consistent winner. He’s an energetic and charismatic individual who players will love to play for and passionate fans like yourself will enjoy cheering for beginning next fall!
I appreciate the efforts and support of President Pam Whitten, the IU Board of Trustees led by Chair Quinn Buckner, and Deputy Directors of Athletics Mattie White and Stephen Harper during the search and throughout the process. They all share my belief and commitment to building a successful football program that competes at the highest levels.
Welcome Curt Cignetti!
It’s a great day for Indiana Football! Go IU!!
Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
For complete coverage of IU football, GO HERE.
The Daily Hoosier –“Where Indiana fans assemble when they’re not at Assembly”