Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Beaver Falls' Grad Adapting to Iup Coach Thornton Back as All-Psac Lineman

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Beaver Falls' Grad Adapting to Iup Coach Thornton Back as All-Psac Lineman

Article excerpt

One of the toughest things for a college athlete to deal with is a coaching staff change.

Carl Thornton and his teammates at Indiana University of Pennsylvania are currently dealing with this reality of life.

"A change in coaches is sometimes for the best," said Thornton, a graduate of Beaver Falls High School who is a two-year starter for the Crimson Hawks. "And in this situation it is for the best."

Curt Cignetti, the son of former IUP coach Frank Cignetti, has taken over as head coach, replacing Lou Tepper, who coached the Crimson Hawks the past five years.

"I like the new coaching staff," Thornton said. "Coach Cignetti's father was the most successful coach in school history. I'm really looking forward to the season."

Thornton, a two-year starter, has already had to deal with change. He started at nose guard during his redshirt freshman season, then moved to defensive tackle last season.

"It doesn't matter where I'm starting on the line, just as long as I'm playing," Thornton said. "I will play wherever the coaching staff wants me to play."

Thornton came to IUP after recording 189 tackles in his final two seasons at Beaver Falls. He was a three-year starter at offensive guard and defensive tackle. He had 98 tackles as a junior and 91 as a senior. He also played basketball for the Tigers.

"I knew a few people who went to IUP, including my cousin Roy Thomas," Thornton said. "Roy played football at IUP and thought it would be a good fit for me. He graduated a couple years before I came to IUP."

Thornton redshirted his first year (2008), then started all 11 games in 2009. He played well enough to earn second-team All-PSAC West Division honors.

Thornton ranked fifth on the team with 44 tackles with four tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks. He also recovered three fumbles, one of which he returned 5 yards for a touchdown against Kutztown.

"I was kind of surprised [to be named to the PSAC All-West team]," Thornton said. "I didn't feel I had a good season, but obviously the coaches felt I was worthy. …

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