HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Former University of Hawai’i linebacker Victor Santa Cruz has been named the Rainbow Warriors new defensive coordinator.
Hawaii head football coach Todd Graham made the announcement on Monday.
Santa Cruz has spent nearly the last two decades as a fixture at Azusa Pacific, where he spent 19 years, including the last 14 as head coach.
He is the school’s winningest coach with an overall record of 84-69. Since 2013, he led Azusa Pacific University to four Great Northwest Athletic Conference championships and two NCAA Division II playoff appearances.
“Coach Victor Santa Cruz is one of the most respected men I know in college coaching,” Graham said. “The wealth of knowledge and integrity he brings to our program as a leader will have a huge impact. Fired up to welcome him to our Hawai’i football family.”
Santa Cruz, is a name UH football fans may remember as he has was a four-year letterman for the Rainbow Warriors from 1991-94, tallying 139 tackles (83 solo) during his career.
A loyal UH alumnus, Santa Cruz helped to coordinate the Rainbow Warriors’ Pro Day from 2016-18 on the APU campus.
Over the last decade, Santa Cruz guided the program’s transition to Division II. The Cougars have eight winning seasons including back-to-back 10-win seasons and GNAC titles in 2013 and 2014.
Prior to moving to Division II, Santa Cruz was recognized as the NAIA Independent Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2011, the latter of which the Cougars finished ranked No. 5 nationally.
He spent the first five seasons at APU as an assistant coach, joining the program as offensive coordinator from 2001-03 then moving to defensive coordinator for 2004-05 before being named the ninth head coach in 2006.