Three more coaches headed to the College Football Hall of Fame
The National Football Foundation announced the 2013 class of the Divisional College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday afternoon. The NFF announced Wayne Hardin and Bill McCartney as the coaching inductees for the 2013 FBS class earlier this month, and that duo will be joined by coaches Frank Cignetti, James "Boots" Donnelly and Jess Dow in the divisional wing.
Cignetti is easily the best coach in the history of Indiana University of Pennsylvania history with a 182-50-1 record from 1986-2005. He led the Hawks to 13 Division II playoffs appearances and two national runner-up finishes and six trips to the national semifinals. IUP also claimed at least a share of 14 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Western Division titles in his 20 seasons, as well as 10 Lambert Cup crowns as the top Division II program in the Eastern United States. He coached 124 All-PSAC honorees and led the Hawks to the Division II top 20 rankings in all but one season during his two-decade run. Cignetti also earned 17 wins in four seasons as the head coach at West Virginia from 1976-79.
Donnelly holds the distinction of resurrecting two programs inside his home state of Tennessee. First, he lead Austin Peay State to its first-ever conference title in his debut campaign. Two seasons later he landed at Middle Tennessee State, where he guided the Blue Raiders to nine top 20 finishes and seven Division I-AA playoffs appearances in 20 seasons in Murfreesboro. The only coach in Ohio Valley Conference history to win a conference title at two separate schools, he led MTSU to five league titles and helped the Blue Raiders achieve a 31-game home winning streak from 1987-93. He holds a career record of 154-94-1.
Finally, Dow rounds out the class with a 108-40-6 record at Southern Connecticut State from 1948-65. The school's all-time winningest coach nearly half a century after his retirement, to say Dow is Southern Connecticut athletics would be putting it lightly; the man literally founded the school's athletic department. Dow totaled 16 winning seasons, half of which were years of one or zero losses, included a 9-0-0 mark in 1956. He led the team to an appearance in the NAIA semifinals in 1959. He passed away in 2003 at the age of 88.