Missouri native Trent Figg is the first head football coach in Calvin University history. Figg comes to Calvin from the University of Oregon, where, in 2022, he served as the football program’s senior offensive analyst. He and his wife, Tori, are parents to three young sons, Titus, Thomas, and Tobias. The Calvin community warmly welcomed them to Grand Rapids in January of this year.
Describe your emotions on becoming the first head football coach in Calvin University history.
I am so excited. It feels great. This is not a position I take lightly. It is an honor to come to an institution like Calvin. Calvin is a special place and it’s a place that is home now for my family.
How did you get connected to Calvin, and what started the wheels in motion to apply to become Calvin’s first head football coach?
The football coaching community is much smaller than you might think. A friend of a friend got me connected and thought Calvin would be a great fit, and that started the application process. Really, it was the overall commitment to excellence here at Calvin that drew me in. From the academic standpoint, from a university standpoint, to an athletics standpoint, to the people that live here, to the community of Grand Rapids. All of those things drew me in and are so right for me and my family right now.
What style of football will you bring to Calvin?
We want to be explosive in all three phases of the game—offense, defense, and special teams. That starts with recruiting. We need to recruit those kinds of players. We want to be the type of team that fans want to come to see. We want to score points. On offense, we want to throw the ball down the field and establish the run game. We want to line up and run the ball whenever that is necessary. We also want to play sound physical defense, with an emphasis on attacking up front.
Tell us a little bit about your recruiting strategy and how you plan to build your roster.
We are starting locally and in state, but there are also pockets throughout the country that know Calvin. We really want to dig in and tap into those pockets and recruit those players as well. We want to bring in young men from all walks of life and grow them as Christian student-athletes. The goal is to have them be ready to be champions in life by the time they graduate.
To that last point, what does it mean to you to come to a Christian university and how important is that?
My faith is the most important thing in my life. It is so cool to be able to couple that with coaching football in an academic setting and truly give kids an experience that will change their life. They are not here just to play football. We want their experience to be one that is truly transformational in their life, not simply transactional.
In 2024, your team will jump right into the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and compete in your first rivalry game with Hope (November 9, at Calvin). What do you know about the MIAA, and what are your thoughts on a Calvin-Hope football rivalry?
I’m well-aware that the MIAA has a rich tradition of football with great coaches. I know the Calvin-Hope rivalry is highly competitive and a lot of fun. The rivalry is something that we will embrace and look forward to. It will be something special for our players, our alumni, and our campus community.