PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Greg Schiano didn't have to look hard to find a new offensive coordinator. He just simply looked inside his own conference.
Schiano on Monday hired Pittsburgh assistant Frank Cignetti to be the Scarlet Knights offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Cignetti spent the previous two seasons at Pittsburgh in the same capacity under recently ousted coach Dave Wannstedt. He will replace Kirk Ciarrocca, who was fired after the Scarlet Knights failed to reach a bowl this season for the first time in six years.
This marks the second time since the season ended that Schiano hired a Panthers assistant. He added Pitt defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley to his staff last month after Rutgers finished 4-8. The Scarlet Knights went just 1-6 in the Big East, including a 41-21 loss at Pitt.
During his tenure at Pitt, Cignetti helped produce some of the most prolific results in school history. Seven Panthers on his offense were named All-Big East the last two seasons, including running back Dion Lewis, who was honored as the league's offensive player of the year and rookie of the year in 2009.
"Frank brings a wealth of knowledge and experience," Schiano said, "as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach to our program."
In his first year at Pitt, the Panthers averaged 32.1 points, and featured a 1,700-yard rusher, a 1,000-yard receiver and a quarterback who threw for more than 2,600 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Prior to joining Wannstedt's staff, Cignetti spent 2008 as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at California. The Golden Bears averaged nearly 33 points per game en route to a 9-4 record, including a 24-17 victory over Miami in the Emerald Bowl. Cignetti spent 2007 in the NFL as quarterbacks coach with the San Francisco 49ers. He was also offensive coordinator at North Carolina (2006) and Fresno State (2002-05).