The Elon University football team has hired Curt Cignetti as the 22nd head coach in the school’s history.
“I am excited about the great opportunity at Elon and humbled and honored to be chosen to lead the Phoenix football program,” Cignetti said. “I’d like to give special thanks to President Lambert, Provost House and Director of Athletics Dave Blank. I am looking forward to working daily to improve the program to its maximum potential and build a championship football program at Elon University.”
The hiring was made official Saturday, but Cignetti told his players at Indiana University of Pennsylvania about the move Friday afternoon. Elon will hold an introductory press conference for Cignetti at noon Monday.
The news comes less than two weeks after previous head coach Rich Skrosky resigned from the position to become a coach at Florida International University, where he is likely to be the offensive coordinator under Butch Davis. Director of Athletics Dave Blank said Elon is “thrilled” to welcome Cignetti.
“We were hopeful that our search would result in someone with successful head coaching experience who possesses a strong commitment to the full experience of the student-athlete,” Blank said. “Curt’s tremendous success as a head coach and his background in coaching demonstrate everything we were looking for, and I am excited about the leadership he will bring to Elon’s football program.”
Cignetti had spent the past six seasons as the head coach at Division II Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he amassed a 53-17 record and made the Division II playoffs three times, including each of the past two seasons.
Cignetti was a wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Alabama for four seasons prior to coaching at IUP, as part of Nick Saban’s national championship-winning staff in 2009. He brought three straight top-five recruiting classes to Alabama.
He was also the recruiting coordinator for seven years at North Carolina State University, coaching tight ends for five years and quarterbacks for two. He coached at the University of Pittsburgh from 1993-1999, Temple University from 1989-1992, Rice University from 1986-1988 and Davidson College in 1985.
He graduated from West Virginia University in 1982, where he played quarterback. His father, Frank Cignetti Sr., was the head coach at West Virginia from 1976-1979. Cignetti Sr. then spent 20 years at IUP, where he went 182-50-1 from 1986-2005, earning an induction to the College Football Hall of Fame.