TUSCALOOSA, Ala. University of Alabama head football Nick Saban announced today that Curt Cignetti, former tight ends coach, recruiting coordinator and quarterbacks coach at North Carolina State University, has joined the Crimson Tide football coaching staff.
Entering his 25th season in the college coaching ranks, Cignetti spent the last seven seasons as an assistant to head coach Chuck Amato at NC State where he served as recruiting coordinator while coaching tight ends (from 2000-02 and 2005-06) and quarterbacks (2003-04). In 2005, Cignetti was ranked among the nation’s top 25 recruiters by Rivals.com. Among the players Cignetti coached during his tenure with the Wolfpack was quarterback Philip Rivers, tight end Sean Berton and tight end TJ Williams. In 2006, Cignetti coached tight end Anthony Hill to second team All-Atlantic Coast Conference recognition as Hill led the Wolfpack in receiving. Rivers, the 2003 ACC Player of the Year, led the nation in passing efficiency and completion percentage that season, breaking nearly every passing and total offense record in school and conference history. In 2002, Berton earned first team All-ACC honors. Williams was a second team selection in 2005.
Prior to working with the Wolfpack, Cignetti served six seasons (1994-99) on the staff at the University of Pittsburgh. Serving as recruiting coordinator during his six seasons at Pitt, he coached tight ends for the Panthers from 1994-96 and in 1999, and coached the quarterbacks in 1997-98. Among Cignetti’s future NFL players at Pittsburgh were quarterback Pete Gonzalez, tight end John Jones and tight end Kirk McMullen. Cignetti was quarterbacks coach at Temple from 1989-92, coached quarterbacks at Rice from 1986-88 and coached receivers at Davidson in 1985. Cignetti began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Pittsburgh in 1983-84.
As a player, Cignetti played quarterback at West Virginia University from 1979-82. During his playing career, Cignetti played on teams that made consecutive bowl appearances in 1981-82 (1981 Peach Bowl and 1982 Gator Bowl). He was honored with the Lewis D. Meisel Award for academic excellence and the A.C. “Whitey” Gwynn Award for character while playing for the Mountaineers.
Cignetti hails from a family that has deep coaching roots. His father, Frank, coached at West Virginia and Indiana University of Pennsylvania racking up 199 career victories before retiring following the 2005 season. Curt’s brother, Frank Jr., is also a veteran of the college coaching ranks.
Cignetti earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from West Virginia. He is married to the former Manette Lawer and the couple has three children: Curtis John, Carly Ann and Natalie.