The Cignetti family has rich ties to football, and one of its own is expected to rise up the ranks of the game in the near future.
Frank Cignetti Jr., a graduate of Indiana Area High School and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, is in line to become the St. Louis Rams’ next offensive coordinator, according to reports from NFL Network and other outlets.
For the last four years, Cignetti has been the Rams’ quarterbacks coach, helping to instruct the likes of Sam Bradford, Shaun Hill and, most recently, Austin Davis.
But if reports hold true, he will join the New York Giants’ Ben McAdoo as the second NFL coordinator to come from IUP.
After playing for IUP from 1985-1988, Cignetti kicked off his coaching career as a graduate assistant for the University of Pittsburgh. In 1990, he returned to Indiana to serve as his alma mater’s wide receivers coach and spent the next nine seasons working in a variety of assistant roles.
He made his professional debut in 1999 when the Kansas City Chiefs hired him as a quality control coach. But Cignetti began to make his mark as an NFL quarterback specialist the following year, in which he became the QBs coach for the New Orleans Saints.
After two years with the Saints, Cignetti returned to the collegiate ranks, expanding his responsibilities as offensive coordinator for Fresno State University.
In 2006, he held the same title with the University of North Carolina while also serving as the team’s QBs coach.
He had another one-year stint in the NFL in 2007 – coaching the San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks – before handling coordinator duties with a trio of Division-I football programs. Cignetti worked for the University of California, Berkeley in 2008, spent two seasons in a second stint with Pitt and then finally served as Rutgers University’s OC in 2011.
Cignetti is the younger brother of IUP football head coach Curt Cignetti and the son of Frank Cignetti Sr., who held Curt’s position from 1986-2005 and compiled more wins than any coach in school history.
Curt, formerly the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator for the University of Alabama, has guided the Crimson Hawks to a 34-12 record over the course of his first four seasons at the helm of IUP’s football program. In 2012, his Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference-winning team advanced to the quarterfinals of the Division II playoffs.
And Curt has been no stranger to praise for coaching quarterbacks, too. Before his tenure with the Crimson Tide, he spent seven years at North Carolina State University, recruiting eventual Super Bowl-winning Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and coaching eventual first-round draft pick and NFL all-star Philip Rivers.
Cignetti Sr., whose name was memorialized as part of the 2014 rebranding of IUP’s George P. Miller Stadium, spent four years as the head coach of West Virginia University before his longtime tenure at IUP.
In two decades heading the coaching staff, Cignetti Sr. led IUP to a 182-50-1 record and two Division II championship appearances.