Indiana hires James Madison’s Curt Cignetti as head coach

Indiana hires James Madison’s Curt Cignetti as head coach

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Indiana hires James Madison’s Curt Cignetti as head coach
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Indiana has hired James Madison’s Curt Cignetti as its next football coach, the school announced Thursday.

Indiana fired Tom Allen on Sunday, a day after the Hoosiers completed their third consecutive losing season.

Allen, who had led Indiana since 2017, finished 33-49 as Hoosiers coach. The Hoosiers dropped their final three games, including Saturday’s rivalry contest at Purdue, to finish 3-9 this season. They have gone 9-26 overall and 3-24 in Big Ten play since the 2020 season.

Cignetti, named the 2023 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year on Thursday, guided James Madison through a seamless transition to the FBS. He led the Dukes to an 11-1 season this year, tops in the Sun Belt.

“I am very excited to welcome Curt Cignetti as the head football coach at Indiana University,” Indiana athletic director Scott Dolson said in a statement. “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. 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. I appreciate the tremendous support throughout this process of Chair Quinn Buckner and the IU Board of Trustees and President Pam Whitten, all of whom were critical in making this day a reality.”

Under Cignetti, JMU led the nation in both rushing defense and tackles for loss per game, and it had a top-20 scoring offense and scoring defense.

Across five seasons, Cignetti has a 52-9 record at James Madison, including a 31-4 record in conference play.

“I am excited to lead this program forward and change the culture, mindset, and expectation level of Hoosier football,” Cignetti said in a statement. “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.”

James Madison is not eligible for the conference title game as it transitions from the FCS to FBS level, as NCAA rules state that schools are not eligible for the postseason for two years during the transition. But because there were not enough bowl-eligible teams to fill all the slots, the Dukes are allowed to go bowling.


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Indiana hires James Madison’s Curt Cignetti as head coach

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