Jim Cigliano was one of the college’s original staff members.  His first position at the college was Director of Admissions and Records.  He received his bachelor’s degree from Lincoln Memorial University, where he played both basketball and baseball, and he completed his master’s degree at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK).  Prior to his arrival at Cleveland State, he served as a high school basketball coach in Delaware and later as an employee in the Office of Administration at UTK.

In the mid-1970s, Cigliano was selected as the Athletic Director and as the Dean of Student Personnel Services (his title later became Vice-President of Student Affairs).  In 1980, he was appointed by Governor Lamar Alexander to a statewide Tennessee Board of Regents Committee to study the financing of all community college and state university athletic programs.  In 1986 he became Director of Region VII of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), which placed him in charge of the board that governed the athletic programs of twenty-five two-year colleges in Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi.  He served in that position for fifteen years, and in 1989 he was appointed to the six-member Executive Committee of the NJCAA.

Cigliano served the college for 38 years (from 1967 to 2005) and his contributions to education and athletics were recognized by his selection to five Halls of Fame:  Cleveland State, Tennessee State Community Colleges, Bradley County Old-Timers, Lincoln Memorial University Professionals and Greater Chattanooga Sports.  He continued to support collegiate activities after retirement by serving as the Commissioner of the TJCAA from 2009-2015.