Debut is also a homecoming for Curt Cignetti

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- When James Madison hired Curt Cignetti, it brought in 36 years of coaching experience at eight different schools. Before that, Cignetti played quarterback at West Virginia -- where he'll debut with the Dukes.

Wednesday morning JMU head coach Curt Cignetti announced injuries to two of the Dukes' defensive players.

Cignetti's ties to his alma mater are even stronger than that, he grew up attending games in Morgantown, where his father was an offensive coordinator and head coach in the 1970s.

While it will be Cignetti's first game with the Dukes, it will also be his first time back in Morgantown in more than two decades.

After Saturday's practice, Cignetti shared one of his early memories at West Virginia of hall of fame coach Bobby Bowden in the locker room.

"All the emotions really of the offseason sort of all built up on him and he really exploded at halftime, very uncharacteristically, he may have thrown a few choice words out there," Cignetti said. "I remember them but won't repeat them. In that locker room it was very dramatic and then all of the sudden he pointed to me in the corner and he says, 'don't you tell your mother I talk this way.' And I'll never forget that."

Cignetti says he was about 12-years-old at the time. The Dukes kickoff against West Virginia in Morgantown at 2 p.m. on Saturday.