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Cignetti & IUP a great fit

Tonight Curt Cignetti leads the D-II Crimson Hawks of IUP (1-0) against 8th ranked Bloomsburg (2-0) in a game televised on CBSSN and which will stream live on the NCAA's website.

This past off-season Cignetti, who was the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at Alabama, accepted the head coaching position at IUP, the same position his dad held for 20 years (1986-2005). Cignetti's father, Frank, led IUP to the national championship game twice and the program finished in the Top 25 19 times in 20 seasons.

Curt Cignetti spoke recently about his decision to accept the position, "It is a little bit of a different move, but it was the type of challenge and opportunity that I really wanted. I maybe could have stayed at Alabama or gone on to the NFL and stayed an assistant coach for the next 15 years but I really wanted to be a head coach. It will also give me a little more time around my family. At places like Alabama, you’re gone a lot recruiting and you sort of lose contact with the people that are important to you. It was a little bit of a lifestyle shift.”

At IUP, Frank Cignetti attends every practice, "I watch practice but I don’t say anything. Believe me, he’s been around a lot of great coaches and been mentored well by them. His opportunity to work with Nick (Saban) at Alabama put the icing on the cake for him as far solidifying his philosophy and views on how he wants to run a program. I’m strictly a spectator.”

One thing that Cignetti has had to adjust to is the massive difference in budget coming from Alabama, "The money and things that come with (being at a large Division I school) … you take for granted at places like Alabama. At a Division II school you wear a lot more hats. You have a lot less personnel in the office to help do things like order equipment and schedule facilities and travel itineraries. You’re involved in a lot more things at this level that you never had to worry about at the Division I level.”