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Indiana head coach gives confident answer on how he sells culture to recruits: ‘I win. Google me’

First-year Indiana Hoosiers head football coach Curt Cignetti is not lacking in confidence. 

Cignetti, who was hired away from James Madison after five seasons, was asked how he sells the vision of his culture to recruits during Wednesday’s National Signing Day press conference. 

Indiana Hoosiers new head football coach Curt Cignetti is introduced in the first half against the Maryland Terrapins at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.  (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

“It’s pretty simple. I win. Google me,” Cignetti said. 

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Indiana landed 10 players in the transfer portal, including former Ohio quarterback Kurtis Rourke, the 2022 MAC Offensive Player of the Year. 

“Kurtis Rourke knows how to play quarterback,” Cignetti said. “While he’s got to do it between the white lines at Indiana, I fully expect him to do it. I think he’s going to be a great player for us.

“But everything is earned, not given. Nobody is promised anything.” 

Curt Cignetti is introduced as head coach

Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Scott Dolson, left, Indiana’s newly announced head coach of football Curt Cignetti, middle, and Indiana Univeristy President Pamela Whitten pose together on Friday, December 1, 2023. Cignetti is the 30th football coach in the university’s history.

Cignetti emphasized that every player will have to earn their spot at Indiana, regardless of their past accolades. 

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“Nobody has anything,” he continued. “Everything is earned. So, that’s how we run our program.”

Cignetti was the head coach at JMU for the last five seasons, including the last two years when the Dukes became an FBS program. 

He led JMU to a record of 11-1 in 2023 and earned a spot against Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl. 

Curt Cignetti is introduced as Indiana head coach

Indiana’s newly announced head coach of football Curt Cignetti speaks to the media on Friday, December 1, 2023. (Rich Janzaruk / USA TODAY NETWORK)

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“I am excited to lead this program forward and change the culture, mindset, and expectation level of Hoosier football,” Cignetti said when he was introduced as head coach at Indiana. “I want to thank Director of Athletics Scott Dolson and President Pam Whitten, and I look forward to working with both in building something special at IU. Both share my vision and belief that big things are ahead for the IU program.”

The Hoosiers went a combined 9-27 over the past two seasons under Tom Allen. 

Allen was fired a day after Indiana completed its season, agreeing to a $15.5 million buyout. 

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