HARRISONBURG, Va. – James Madison head football coach Curt Cignetti will be in Harrisonburg for a few more years. Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne announced Tuesday that the veteran coach had agreed to a contract extension through the 2028 season.
The amended agreement adds one year to a three-year extension announced in April. As part of the latest extension, Cignetti will also have one year automatically added to his contract by achieving eight wins against FBS opponents in any season during the length of the contract.
Through four seasons, Cignetti has guided the Dukes to a 41-8 record, which includes going 8-3 with a 6-2 mark in Sun Belt Conference play to finish tied atop the East in their first season competing in the Football Bowl Subdivision ranks.
“It was an outstanding first season in the Sun Belt and facing FBS competition, highlighted by our first-place finish in the Sun Belt East Division,” Bourne said. “Stability is a key factor for success in the current construct of college athletics. The university is happy to reward Curt Cignetti for his leadership and the competitive excellence exhibited by our student-athletes. We have a bright future for JMU football!”
“Manette and I love JMU and Harrisonburg!” Cignetti said. “As a staff, we are working diligently to improve the program on a daily basis to position ourselves for the best success in the Sun Belt Conference next year and beyond.”
Entering Bowl Season, JMU ranks second nationally in rushing defense (79.5), first-down defense (13.82), and tackles for loss per game (8.7). They are also third in sacks per contest (3.45), fifth in both third-down defense (28.4%) and fumble recoveries (13), seventh in yards per completion (14.54), eighth in total defense (289.5) and 10th in takeaways (24). JMU additionally ranks 15th in scoring offense (37.0) and 29th in scoring defense (20.9).
The 2022 season brought national attention, with a remarkable 5-0 start and JMU’s first national ranking in the AP Top 25. The Dukes received at least a vote in the AP poll in six weeks during the season.
Three players were also named to major FBS award watch lists, with Centeio being in contention for the Maxwell Award, Manning Award, Davey O’Brien Award, and the CFPA National Performer of the Year. Thornton was named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list, while Kyle Davis was included on the Patrick Mannelly Award watch list.