Curt Cignetti is fully with Indiana.
The Hoosiers’ new head football coach, upon being hired, was reportedly going to coach the James Madison team he departed in its bowl game. But Cignetti walked that back a bit during his introductory press conference, suggesting it could depend on how quickly JMU gets a new coach in place.
Then, on Sunday, JMU announced on X, formerly known as Twitter, that assistant head coach Damian Wroblewski will serve as acting head coach for the Armed Forces Bowl. Cignetti, at the IU press conference, said his attention would be split around 90 percent IU, 10 percent JMU, but this update made it 100 percent Indiana.
Cignetti talked about how this situation evolved on The Wake Up Call with Kevin Bowen and Andy Sweeney on 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis on Monday.
“I think it was a natural process, to be honest with you,” Cignetti said. “I think the athletic director at JMU, his comfort level when this happened — and we had a great relationship, and still do, we’re great friends — was that I would coach the bowl game. But the way this process really works, when you take a new job, you’ve left your old job. And you have to devote 100 percent of your time to your new job, because there’s a million things to do. And for me and my staff to show up two days before the bowl game wouldn’t make any sense. They’ve had kids go in the transfer portal there, good players, really good players. And they’re in the transfer portal, so it’s open season. I think as time went on, the leadership at JMU realized there’s no sense in this.”
Cignetti is already busy recruiting, both high school prospects and transfer portal entries. The transfer portal officially opened on Monday, December 4, and the early signing period for high school recruits is in two weeks.
It’s a busy time of year for all head coaches, and it would’ve hurt Cignetti’s ability to do both jobs to split his attention at all between IU and JMU.
“From my standpoint, while I have a strong emotional attachment to those guys (at JMU), I think to do them right, they need to be coached by the existing members there,” Cignetti said. They’re going to hire a new head coach soon that will bring a staff in that will watch what’s going on. They’ll hire some people on a temporary basis that have coached collegiately, and that gives them the best chance to be successful.”