Football is coming to Calvin University, and Trent Figg, formerly the senior offensive analyst for the University of Oregon football program, will be the team’s first head coach.
The decision to add a football team came in October 2022, when Calvin University’s Board of Trustees approved an athletics strategic plan, which included adding women’s acrobatics and tumbling, men’s volleyball, and men’s American football to its portfolio of NCAA Division III athletic offerings.
“We are one of the premier athletics programs in all of Division III, and so why not add more offerings that meet the needs of our students?” said Dr. Wiebe Boer, president of Calvin University. “By adding these sports, we are providing students who have competed throughout high school the opportunity to get the best Christian liberal arts education around and continue in the sport they love. It’s a win-win.”
Leading and guiding these student athletes will require men and women of Christian integrity who understand a Reformed worldview and can help students see how their athletic pursuits fit into the big picture of God’s plan for them. For Calvin football players, Figg was a great choice.
“In starting a new program of this magnitude at Calvin, we know how important it is to have a coach who is first and foremost committed to creating a culture focused on developing the character of student athletes and to helping them holistically thrive here,” said Noah Toly, Calvin’s provost and a co-chair of the search committee that hired Figg. “Those who recommended Trent to us originally and those who have given references to his character, skills, and abilities throughout this process have confirmed Trent to be the ideal candidate.”
A native of Chillicothe, Mo., Figg is a 2008 graduate of William Jewell College (Mo.). He was a four-year member of the William Jewell football team as a defensive back. He graduated with degrees in secondary education and physical education and earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from Northwest Missouri State in 2013.
Over the years, Figg has worked as a football coach at Southern Arkansas University, William Jewell College, Missouri State, the University of Hawaii, and most recently at the University of Oregon under head coach Dan Lanning. This past year, Oregon completed a 10-3 season that included a 28-27 win over the University of North Carolina in the Holiday Bowl.
“I feel extremely blessed and honored to receive this position, and I do not take it lightly,” Figg said about joining Calvin’s community. “Adding football to its athletics offerings is a significant step for Calvin University. It’s an opportunity that my family and I are extremely excited about.”