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HomeSportsCurt Cignetti leaving James Madison football program to take head coaching job...

Curt Cignetti leaving James Madison football program to take head coaching job at Indiana: report

The Indiana Hoosiers’ head football coaching search appears to be over. 

According to ESPN, Indiana has lured coach Curt Cignetti from James Madison

Indiana recently fired Tom Allen after a third straight losing season. Cignetti will leave a program he helped transition from the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision to college football’s highest level, the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

Allen had a 33-49 overall record with the Hoosiers, and Indiana ended the 2023 season with just three wins.

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Cignetti was named Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year after guiding the Dukes to an 11-1 season. 

Indiana athletic director Scott Dolson expressed excitement about Cignetti’s track record.

“I am very excited to welcome Curt Cignetti as the head football coach at Indiana University,” Dolson said in a statement. 

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“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.”

Cignetti developed an impressive defense at JMU that led the nation in rushing defense. The Dukes’ offense finished in the top 20 in scoring. He departs Harrisonburg, Virginia, with a 52-9 overall record.

Earlier this month, JMU entered a game against Appalachian State with a 10-0 record and lost its first game.

The Dukes are in a mandatory two-year transition period after making the jump from the FCS to the FBS. 

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The school had sought waiver approval, which would have granted it full bowl eligibility. But those requests have been denied. Days after the team lost its first game, the school announced it would no longer pursue legal action against the NCAA to reverse its bowl ban.

James Madison has not been included in the College Football Playoff selection committee’s weekly rankings since the team is not bowl eligible. The team is also not allowed to play in the conference championship.

The Dukes finished last season with an 8-3 record.

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