Former West Virginia football coach Frank Cignetti is among the members of the 2013 Divisional College Football Hall of Fame Class, announced by the National Football Foundation (NFF).
The NFF launched its Divisional Hall of Fame program in 1996 during its annual enshrinement festival. A total of 144 players and coaches, counting this year's class, have been inducted from the divisional ranks, including Terry Bradshaw (Louisiana Tech), Walter Payton (Jackson State), John Randle (Texas A&M – Kingsville), Jerry Rice (Mississippi Valley State), and coach Eddie Robinson (Grambling State).
Including the recently announced 2013 Football Bowl Subdivision class and this class of divisional honorees, only 934 players and 205 coaches, have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 4.92 million who have played or coached the game over the past 144 years. In other words, only two one-hundredths of one percent (.0002) of the individuals who have played the game have been deemed worthy of this distinction. This year’s divisional class brings the number of schools represented with at least one College Football Hall of Famer to 296.
The 2013 Divisional College Football Hall of Fame Class will be honored this summer in Atlanta, Ga., during the Enshrinement ceremonies in August.
The winningest head coach in Indiana University of Pennsylvania history, Frank Cignetti led the Hawks to unprecedented success during his 20-year tenure from 1986 to 2005. He becomes the third IUP representative in the College Football Hall of Fame, following defensive end Jim Haslett (2001) and fellow coach Chuck Klausing (1998).
It didn’t take long for Cignetti to find success at IUP, leading the Hawks to conference titles in his first two seasons in 1986 and 1987 and subsequent Division II national title game appearances in 1990 and 1993. He took IUP to 13 Division II playoffs appearances, including six trips to the national semifinals, and he led the Hawks to at least a co-share of the PSAC Western Division title 14 times. Under his tutelage, IUP ranked in the Top 20 each season from 1986-2004, achieving undefeated regular seasons in 1991 and 1993. He retired after the 2005 season as the third-winningest active coach in Division II.
Cignetti’s teams received the Lambert Cup 10 times as the top Division II team in the East. He was named the PSAC West Coach of the Year five times and the Kodak College Division Regional Coach of the Year three times en route to earning Chevrolet Division II National Coach of the Year honors in 1991. Cignetti coached 11 First Team All-Americans and 124 First Team All-PSAC performers.
Cignetti served as the offensive coordinator at West Virginia University under College Football Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden from 1970-75 before taking over as the Mountaineers’ head coach for four seasons (1976-79). The former NAIA All-American, who played end at IUP from 1956-59, was an inaugural member of his alma mater’s athletics hall of fame in 1996, and he served as the school’s athletics director from 1982-98.