Football at Calvin University? First Hire a Coach, Now Find Players!
This is sure a tall order for Calvin University here in Grand Rapids. They have always had an excellent sports program, with teams winning 11 national championships, placing in the final four 54 times, and as national runners-up 27 times in most all sports, men's and women's.
However, there was one bigtime sport missing, and that was football. So of course, let's start playing football. Well, the quest began with a search for a football coach. Now they have that, but need to add all the other pieces.
Fox17 reported that Trent Figg has been announced as the first Calvin University football coach. Figg has coached at all three levels of the NCAA, most recently as an analyst at the University of Oregon, and certainly knows the challenges of starting up a program from the ground up. He's ready to take it on.
He has been the associate head coach of the defense and defensive backs coach for the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Figg played college football at William Jewell College, where he also spent the first five years of his coaching career upon graduation. While primarily a defensive coach, he has spent multiple stints on the offensive side of the ball. Besides Hawai'i and William Jewell, Figg has also coached at Missouri State, Arizona State, and Southern Arkansas.
So now what? Putting a staff together is a huge priority. Finding players is one of the first things to do since Calvin intends to begin playing in the fall of 2024, hoping to have enough players to begin practice this coming fall. Oh, by the way, one small thing, they have to buy footballs, too!
National signing day is two weeks away, and Figg hopes to begin constructing the roster as soon as possible.
Then there are uniforms, practice equipment, practice field, and last but not least, a place to play their games.
The University says they plan to build an on campus stadium to be ready for the 2025 season. However, their kickoff year, 2024, that's still up in the air.
As we truly build this thing from the ground floor it is exciting because we get to hand select every single kid that comes in this program," every single staff member," Figg said. "We get to do it on our timeline, so we got to be quick but not in a hurry, but we can be really calculated and smart with the kids that we bring into this program.
Good luck Calvin!