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Indiana hires James Madison's Curt Cignetti as coach


Indiana moved quickly to hire James Madison's Curt Cignetti as head coach of the Hoosiers on Thursday.

Cignetti, 62, was named the Sun Belt coach of the Year earlier in the day. He guided the Dukes to an 11-1 record in their second season at the FBS level.

"I am excited to lead this program forward and change the culture, mindset, and expectation level of Hoosier football," Cignetti said. "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."

Cignetti replaces Tom Allen, who was fired on Sunday after posting a 33-49 record over seven seasons as coach of the Hoosiers. Indiana had dropped a 35-31 decision to Purdue the previous day to finish the campaign with a 3-9 overall record and a 1-8 mark in the Big Ten.

"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," Dolson said. "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."

Cignetti owns a 52-9 record and 31-4 mark in conference play at JMU between the Sun Belt and Colonial Athletic Association. He reached the 2019 FCS national championship game and the FCS semifinals in both 2020 and 2021.

"This was a really difficult decision and I really wrestled with it hard," Cignetti said of leaving James Madison. "These were the best five years of my professional life. We accomplished a lot every year but particularly the last two and this season was so special."

James Madison director of athletics Jeff Bourne thanked Cignetti for his "dedication and commitment to excellence" at his school.

Cignetti's father, the late Frank Sr., is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Curt Cignetti's brother, Frank Jr., is offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Pitt.

--Field Level Media

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