Dec 16 / Rob

Cignetti is a Homerun Hire for JMU

As you no doubt have heard by now, JMU formally hired Curt Cignetti to succeed Mike Houston as the head football coach. In short, it’s a terrific move. Cignetti has been in the coaching game for 30 years and most recently was the head coach of Elon University for the past two years. Under Cignetti, Elon made back to back appearances in the FCS playoffs. That bears repeating. Cignetti took teams to the playoffs two years in a row at Elon. If you don’t recall much about Elon football prior to when Cignetti took over, it’s because the Phoenix were irrelevant. But Cignetti took control of the program for a school with few obvious resources and immediately turned it into a winner.

While thinking “if he can win at Elon, the sky is the limit at JMU” might be a little simplistic, it’s also entirely true. We witnessed it with Houston coming from the Citadel and we’re hoping to see it again with Cignetti. With all due respect to the Elon program and its players, the Dukes offer upgrades in virtually any element of the program you can think of. JMU has more talent on the roster, superior facilities, greater support, and a much prouder tradition. The only thing JMU didn’t have over Elon this year was a win. Because despite all of those relative disadvantages, the Phoenix defeated the Dukes by the score of 27-24 back in October. And it was no fluke. Elon came in with a better gameplan and executed it. Many fans thought Cignetti clearly out-coached Houston that day. We certainly did.

Cignetti also won at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). He took over a losing program and proceeded to go 53-17 with three playoff appearances and two conference titles. Before IUP he was an assistant coach at a place called the University of Alabama for a guy named Nick Saban. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. While on Saban’s staff he was the wide receivers coach, where he worked with Julio Jones. He also recruited Mark Ingram, who went on to with the Heisman Tropy. And we don’t need to tell you the benefit of learning from a coach like Saban.

So we are all in for Cignetti. The guy strikes us a no nonsense coach with a tried and true approach to building, and sustaining, winning football programs. And we can’t wait to see him do it in Harrisonburg.



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  1. Rob K / Dec 17 2018

    One other point – he was head of recruiting while at Alabama. I don’t think you get named head of recruiting under Saban if you are a slouch in that area. I’m excited to see who he can get in the next few years.

  2. Jamie Mottram / Dec 17 2018

    Thanks for this. Excited about the hire now.

  3. Tidewater Duke / Dec 17 2018

    Solid hire to excite the fan base. Can’t wait for next year.

  4. Jay Deck / Dec 17 2018

    Great hire! I excited for next season!

  5. ShadyP / Dec 17 2018

    Great job with this hire.

  6. Hoàng ??c Duy / Dec 27 2018

    Có b?n nào mu?n ch?i th? kho game m?i nh?t bom t?n nh?t mà bên mình chu?n b? tung ra th? tr??ng nh?m m?c ?ích th?a mãnnhu c?u gi?i trí c?a gi?i tr? hi?n nay vidmate ??m b?o mi?n phí 100% khi t?i và mình c?ng ?ang ch?i nhé. M?i ng??i nhanh tay k?t b?n ?i nào

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