Cignetti: 'UNC Second to None'

Inside Carolina
Posted Jan 3, 2006


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – New North Carolina offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti was introduced by John Bunting on Tuesday afternoon at the Smith Center. Read & listen to the press conference.

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Also see:
* Photos: Cignetti Press Conference
* Cignetti to UNC Announcement

LISTEN (24:11)

UNC spokesperson: “Coach Bunting is here to introduce new offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti. ... The terms of his contract are $200K a year for three years starting today.”

John Bunting: “I'm proud to present a guy who I think is going to be a great source for our football program in a lot of different ways. He is somebody that I have a great deal of confidence in. I’ve been around him before and I’ve known people that he’s worked for. I know his family and the pedigree that he brings to our football program – a lot of hard-nosed toughness in terms of football. I also think he has a unique way of teaching quarterbacks and implementing offensive philosophies and concepts. Frank Cignetti will be a great coach for us. I’m looking forward to working with him and the rest of our staff here. I’ve informed all of my staff of the decision.”

Frank Cignetti: “I appreciate those kind words from Coach Bunting. The Cignetti family is very excited to be here in Chapel Hill. Coach Bunting made this thing happen. I have the utmost respect for Coach Bunting – as a human being and as a football coach. ... Without Coach Bunting, I wouldn’t be sitting here. I was honored and flattered to be asked to come in and interview. And when Coach offered me the job, we were just ecstatic. Having worked with John at New Orleans, it is a privilege. I understand the passion he has for this university and I am just very excited to be a part of his staff.

“The University of North Carolina in my eyes is second to none, and I know John feels the same way. ... It’s an honor to be here, it’s an honor to live here and it’s going to be an honor to coach here. The recruiting that Coach Bunting, myself and the offensive staff can hopefully bring to this football program…we hope to recruit the best athletes in the nation. I think when John Bunting walks into a recruit’s home, you have a tremendous role model. You have a UNC grad and you have a man who talks about education and life skills. ... He’s coached at the highest level. He’s won a Super Bowl at the highest level, and hopefully we’re going to win a national championship here at UNC. So when we talk about recruiting the best athletes in the nation, John Bunting is a tremendous role model. I can’t think of a better role model out there in college coaching to sit down with a young man in his home and talk about getting an education and college football. And if God gives you the ability to play in the National Football League you can continue your career there because the man has done it himself.”

“Our goal here at the University of North Carolina is to be the best in the nation. We want to compete with the best in the ACC and the best in the nation.”

Coach Bunting said you have a unique way of teaching quarterbacks, what is your method?

Cignetti: "I've been very fortunate in this profession - I've been well mentored. It goes back to my father, and guys like Gary Tranquil and Mike McCarthy. When you look at a guy like Mike McCarthy, who I've known since 1998, he worked for a guy named Paul Hackett, Hackett worked for Bill Walsh and Tom Landry. The training methods of the quarterback are second to none at that level in terms of the West Coast offense. It was something handed down from Walsh and Landry to Hackett to McCarthy to myself. And then the influence of my father and guys like Gary Tranquil ... I just think those methods of training a quarterback is second to none. ... Everything starts in the classroom. As a football coach, you're a teacher and you teach the game of football. With the quarterback, you not only teach the entire game of football, but you've got to talk about mechanics, footwork and eye discipline. It's just a really detailed training phase."

How will you equate yourself with Joe Dailey, Cam Sexton - will you look at anything before spring practice?

Cignetti: "Sure - first off, you have to get to know them as people because it's a people business. I'm a teacher first, I have to get to know my pupils, I'll try and study as much tape as there is on the young men, get to know them and then make evaluations every day of their progress."

Can you talk about, as a coordinator, your offensive philosophy?

Cignetti: "I'll say it again. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for John Bunting ... he's as good a football coach as there is out there and we share a lot of the same common beliefs in terms of what it takes to win championships - which is what we plan on doing here.

Offensively, you have three phases. You have the running game. You've got to have a physical, downhill running game. It's my belief that offensive football starts with running the ball. The second phase is you must be able to protect the quarterback to throw the football. So not only are we going to run the ball efficiently, but we have to protect the quarterback. The third phase, the passing game, you've got to complete the ball. ... There's a balance between those three phases, between running the ball and throwing the ball.

"The philosophy itself is you have to execute on offense. When we step out on the field, we've got to maximize scoring opportunities and minimize mistakes (penalties, turnovers, missed assignments). If we can maximize our scoring opportunities and minimize our mistakes and execute, then we should be able to put points on the board."



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