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Indiana football hires Curt Cignetti as head coach

A new age.

NCAA Football: James Madison at Appalachian State David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana hired Curt Cignetti, formerly of James Madison, as the Hoosiers’ next head football coach on Thursday.

Cignetti’s Dukes sit at 11-1 this season in his fifth season as head coach. Before James Madison moved to the Sun Belt Conference in the FBS, Cignetti took them to an FCS title game and consecutive semifinal appearances.

Cignetti got his start as head coach at Indiana University, Pennsylvania, where he went 53-17 over five years with three postseason appearances. In 2017, he made the jump to Division-I, taking over a 2-9 team and leading them to an 8-4 season in year one.

He wasn’t at Elon long, staying there for just two seasons before being hired away by James Madison. In five seasons with the Dukes, he’s put together a 52-9 record and two first place finishes in his first two years in the Sun Belt.

Indiana will not be Cignetti’s first stop at a Power-5 school. From 2007-2010, he was running backs and wide receivers coach under Nick Saban at Alabama, where he recruited and developed players like Julio Jones and Mark Ingram

Victories aside, Cignetti has racked up accolades at just about every stop in his career. He has been named conference coach of the year at each of his last three stops, most recently in 2022 when he was named Sun Belt coach of the year.

As a head coach with a winning record and experience at the Power Five level, Cignetti checks all of the boxes for Indiana.

There’s no such thing as a sure thing in college sports, but this was the commitment to building a winning program that Indiana fans were hoping for.

Let the Cignetti era begin.