Trent Figg is entering his second year on the University of Hawaii coaching staff under head coach Todd Graham. In his first season in Manoa in 2020, Figg served as Graham’s chief of staff.
Figg will have an on-field coaching role in 2021 as the team’s associate head coach for defense and defensive backs coach. After 2020 defensive coordinator Victor Santa Cruz was reassigned to coach defensive ends, Figg now holds the highest title for coaches on the defensive side of the ball.
All the latest sports news from Hawaii’s sports station
Despite the responsibilities that come with his new, broader title, Figg has mostly been working with the team’s secondary. His biggest goal? Getting his defensive backs to be more versatile in order to create more depth.
“All of our guys in the back end, all of our safeties can play all safety positions, corners can play on both sides of the ball, and there’s some corners we actually train at safety as well and then a couple corners that we train at safety as well. We try to be very, very multiple with those guys,’ Figg said. “That creates depth as well. If we have injuries, it’s not necessarily ‘Who’s the second best free safety?’ It might be the second best safety, and that might be the third corner of that makes sense, so we do that to create depth.”
The 2021 season for the Rainbow Warriors is officially just a week away, as the season begins on Aug. 28 at UCLA. As the ‘Bows prepare for their regular 13-game schedule, Figg wants his DBs to be prepared for any given offense on any given week.
“Because you see offenses change so much, offenses are different week to week, so your matchups are different week to week. They may be a big, heavy, 12 or 21 personnel type team, then you may play a spread personnel team the next week, and you may need five or six DBs on the field. We train those guys to play multiple positions from the spring to the summer all year.
“Our big thing right now is how multiple can we be? We’re gonna be as multiple as we can possibly be but we’re still learning exactly what our guys can do, what our guys can operate in and out of. Our offense does a great job of giving us every look you could ever imagine, so they’ve challenged us over the weeks and over fall camp.
“We’re gonna attack and we’re gonna be as multiple as we can be, three, four, five different personnel groupings. That’s been a huge emphasis ever since spring ball, is we have to tackle in the secondary. When you look at all big play runs, big touchdown runs, it all comes down to someone in the secondary probably missing a tackle.”