Cignetti reportedly among candidates for Southern Miss job
Published: Friday, December 7, 2012
Updated: Friday, December 7, 2012 08:12
Curt Cignetti, IUP’s head football coach since 2011, is reportedly among candidates for the same position at Southern Miss, which became vacant when the Golden Eagles dismissed Ellis Johnson last month. According to Al Jones of gulflive.com, which is powered by The Mississippi Press, Cignetti is among nearly 30 coaches who have expressed interest in the job.
Jones’ report indicated that the University of Southern Mississippi will commence its search for a new head coach through a series of interviews in the coming days, and although Cignetti’s ties to the position are purely speculative at this point, the Crimson Hawks’ head coach seems to have a sturdy resume for future opportunities.
Cignetti did not immediately return an email requesting a comment on the report.
The son of longtime IUP football coach Frank Cignetti, Sr., the current has led the Crimson Hawks to a 17-4 record in his two seasons atop the staff, taking the team to its first Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference title since 1987. He led IUP to a 10-1 regular season mark before advancing to the Super Region One finals this season.
Under Cignetti’s direction, the Hawks ranked among the top teams in the country in terms of both offensive and defensive production, with running backs Harvie Tuck and De’Antwan Williams (2,866 combined rushing yards in 2012) among the coach’s most accomplished prospects.
Prior to joining IUP, Cignetti spent four years at Alabama as the Crimson Tide’s wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator, scouting and developing current NFL starters like Julio Jones.
From 2000 to 2006, he worked with the quarterbacks and tight ends at North Carolina State, coaching current San Diego Chargers signal-caller Philip Rivers; and had prior jobs at Temple, Rice, Davidson and Pittsburgh.