Curt Cignetti

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Curt Cignetti
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Elon
Conference CAA
Record 8–3
Biographical details
Born (1961-06-02) June 2, 1961 (age 56)
Playing career
1979–1982 West Virginia
Position(s) Quarterback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1983–1984 Pittsburgh (GA)
1985 Davidson (QB/WR)
1986–1988 Rice (QB)
1989–1992 Temple (QB)
1993–1999 Pittsburgh (QB/TE)
2000–2006 North Carolina State (QB/TE/RC)
2007–2010 Alabama (WR/RC)
2011–2016 IUP
2017–present Elon
Head coaching record
Overall 61–20
Tournaments 4–3
Accomplishments and honors

1 PSAC (2012)

T-1st PSAC (2015)
CAA Football Head Coach of the Year (2017)

Curt Cignetti (born June 2, 1961) is an American football coach who is currently the head coach for the Elon Phoenix football team of NCAA Division I Football Championship (FCS). He previously served as the head coach for IUP Crimson Hawks football and was an assistant coach for the University of Alabama for four years.

Playing career[edit]

Cignetti was a two-year letterman at West Virginia University.[1]

Coaching career[edit]

After graduating from West Virginia, Cignetti coached at the University of Pittsburgh for Hall of Fame coach Johnny Majors. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Pitt in 1983 under Foge Fazio. He has also coached at Davidson College, Rice University, and Temple University.[1]

After his second stint at Pittsburgh, Cignetti spent seven years at NC State. In 2003, Cignetti coached ACC Player of the Year Philip Rivers. Rivers went on to be the 4th player picked in the NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers.[2] While there, the Wolfpack set a school record for wins in 2002 with 11 single-season victories, and also participated in five bowl games in seven years. Additionally to his success with the Quarterbacks at NC State, Cignetti also recruited future Seattle Seahawk and Super Bowl XLVIII Champion, Russell Wilson.

Cignetti was an original staff member of Coach Nick Saban's coaching staff at Alabama. The Crimson Tide won the National Championship in 2009 and was back-to-back SEC West Champions in 2008 and 2009. During this span, Alabama won 29 regular season games in a row.

Cignetti coached one of the leading wide receivers in school history at Alabama, Julio Jones. Jones broke DJ Hall's regular season record and finished out the season with 78 catches for 1,133 yards and as first-team All-SEC in 2010. While on the staff at Alabama, Cignetti was a vital part of recruiting future 2009 Heisman Trophy winner, Mark Ingram. On January 21, 2011, Cignetti was named to replace Lou Tepper as IUP's 11th head football coach.[3][4]

As head coach of IUP, Cignetti led the Crimson Hawks to the NCAA Division II playoffs twice, while reaching the Quarterfinals in 2012 and the Second Round in 2015. Cignetti inherited the team in 2011, with the Crimson Hawks previous two seasons resulting in an 11–11 overall record and a 4–10 record in conference play. In his second season with the Crimson Hawks, Cignetti won the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championship and finished with an overall record of 12–2. In 2015, the Hawks finished with an overall record of 9–3 and were selected as the fifth seed in the 2015 NCAA Division II playoffs.

Cignetti was named the Elon head coach on Dec. 31, 2016. In his first season as head coach of the Phoenix, Cignetti guided his team to an 8-3 overall record and a berth to the FCS Football Playoffs; Elon's first since 2009. On November 21st, 2017, Cignetti was named the CAA Football Head Coach of the Year, after improving the Phoenix win record by six games.

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
IUP Crimson Hawks (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) (2011–2016)
2011 IUP 7–3 5–2 3rd (West)
2012 IUP 12–2 6–1 1st (West) L NCAA Division II Quarterfinal
2013 IUP 9–2 5–2 2nd (West)
2014 IUP 6–5 5–4 5th (West)
2015 IUP 9–3 6–1 1st (West) L NCAA Division II Second Round
2016 IUP 10–2 6–1 2nd (West) L NCAA Division II Second Round
IUP: 53–17 33–11
Elon Phoenix (Colonial Athletic Association) (2017–present)
2017 Elon 8–3 6-2 3rd NCAA Division I FCS Playoffs
Elon: 8–3 6–2
Total: 61–20

Personal life[edit]

Cignetti and his wife Manette have three children, Curtis Jr., Carly Ann, and Natalie Elise. Cignetti's father, Frank Cignetti Sr., is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and won 199 games as a head coach at West Virginia University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.[5]


  1. ^ a b IUP Athletics. "Staff Directory: Curt Cignetti". Retrieved January 30, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Philip Rivers finally makes it to NY". November 5, 2009. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved January 30, 2011. 
  3. ^ Deas, Tommy (January 21, 2011). "Cignetti to be named IUP coach". The Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved January 21, 2011. 
  4. ^ Dave Mackall (January 22, 2011). "IUP names Curt Cignetti football coach". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved January 30, 2011. 
  5. ^ Bob Fulton. "Geography Lesson". IUP Magazine. Retrieved January 30, 2011. 

External links[edit]