Cignetti Accepts Coaching Position

There's more than meets the eye to the move of Curt Cignetti from being Alabama assistant coach to being head coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.



Although many who follow Alabama would think that being an assistant coach for the Crimson Tide under Coach Nick Saban would be more prestigious (and perhaps more lucrative) than being an assistant coach at a school most in Dixie have never heard of, there is a particular threat that binds Curt Cignetti to Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Cignetti, who has coached Alabama wide receivers for the past four years under Saban, is the oldest son of legendary former IUP Coach Frank Cignetti.

Curt Cignetti, who succeeds Lou Tepper, was officially introduced as IUP's 11th coach today at a news conference on campus.

It will be the first head coaching job for Cignetti, 49, who has served as an assistant for 28 years. Cignetti's brother, Frank Jr., recently accepted a position as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Rutgers, a title he held at Pitt prior to the Panthers' much-publicized coaching change involving the firing of Dave Wannstedt and the eventual hiring of Tulsa coach Todd Graham.

Curt Cignetti was more than just wide receivers coach at Alabama. He was also the Crimson Tide recruiting coordinator.

Saban said, "Curt did an outstanding job for us and in his four years at the University of Alabama and I know he will do the same at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has a great knowledge of the game and I know he learned much of that from his dad, Frank, who won a lot of games at IUP and is a legendary coach there. This is a great opportunity for Curt to put his own stamp on the program as a head coach. We wish the Cignetti family the best in this new role and appreciate all they did to help us be successful here at Alabama."

Cignetti becomes the third Alabama assistant coach to leave the staff this year. Offensive Line Coach Joe Pendry retired and was replaced by Jeff Stoutland from Miami, and defensive line coach Bo Davis accepted a position at Texas and was replaced by Chris Rumpf from Clemson.

IUP had become an NCAA Division II powerhouse under former West Virginia Coach Frank Cignetti, who led IUP to Top 25 finishes beginning in his first season, 1986, through 2004.

After IUP finished out of the Top 25, going 5-5 in 2005, Tepper, a former Illinois coach, spent five seasons at IUP, was hired away from Division II Edinboro to replace Cignetti, who retired. But his teams finished out of the rankings the past two years.

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