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by Fitzgerald Cecilio
Frank Cignetti has been elected to the College Football Divisional Hall of Fame for his two decades at Indiana University of Pennsylvania with six others.
The divisional class honors coaches and players who competed outside the top level of college football.
Joining Cignetti in this year's class are linebacker Shelby Jordan from Washington University in St. Louis, 1969-72; quarterback Joe Miccia of Westminster, Pa., 1987-89; offensive tackle Art Sell of Maryland Eastern Shore, 1964-67; and fullback Jeff Wittman of Ithaca, N.Y., 1989-92.
Cignetti was an NAIA All-American end during a playing career with the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Hawks from 1965 to 1968.
He became offensive coordinator of the West Virginia University Mountaineers under Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden from 1970 to 1975 before taking over as the head coach for four seasons from 1976 to 1979.
In 1982, he returned to his alma mater as football coach and athletic director.
He led 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 the Hawks to 13 Division II playoffs appearances, including six trips to the national semifinals, and to at least a co-share of the PSAC Western Division title 14 times. Under his tutelage, the Hawks ranked in the Top 20 each season from 1986-2004, achieving undefeated regular seasons in 1991 and 1993.
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.
He was inducted into IUP's Hall of Fame in 1996.
He retired after the 2005 season as the winningest coach in IUP's history with a 182-50 record and third-winningest active coach in Division II.
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Art Shell and Frank Cignetti Named to College Football Hall of Fame