Frank Cignetti, a former star player at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and later its winningest football coach, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame during ceremonies in Atlanta on Wednesday night.
Cignetti, 75, was inducted along with former coaches James “Boots” Donnelly, Jess Dow, Phillip Fulmer, Jimmy Johnson and R.C. Slocum and former players Charles Alexander, Otis Armstrong, Steve Bartkowski, Hal Bedsole, Dave Casper, Ty Detmer, Shelby Jordan, Tommy Kramer, Joe Micchia, Art Monk, Greg Myers, Jonathan Ogden, Gabe Rivera, Art Shell, Mark Simoneau, Scott Thomas, Jeff Wittman and John Wooten.
Cignetti, who is also a member of the IUP and Indiana County sports halls of fame, was an All-America end as a player for IUP in the 1950s. He returned to his alma mater in 1982 as the athletic director, added the title of head football coach in 1986 and led the program — and the school — to the national stage with 182 wins in 20 seasons.
By the time he retired in 2005, Cignetti had become one of the most successful coaches in any division of college football. His teams won 14 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division titles, advanced to the NCAA playoffs 13 times and twice played on national TV in the NCAA Division II championship game. He ended his career with a mark of 199-77-1, a .718 winning percentage.