Hawaii football: Todd Graham hires Victor Santa Cruz as defensive coordinator

New Hawaii defensive coordinator Victor Santa Cruz when he was a member of the Rainbow Warriors in 1994. / Star-Advertiser file

Most of the following appears on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s breaking news.

Former University of Hawaii linebacker Victor Santa Cruz has been hired as the Rainbow Warriors’ defensive coordinator.

Santa Cruz, who is Azusa Pacific’s head coach, is the third assistant coach to be hired to new head coach Todd Graham’s staff.

“Santa Cruz is one of the most respected men I know in college coaching,” Graham said in a UH release.

Santa Cruz was a starting linebacker on the UH team that defeated Illinois in the 1992 Holiday Bowl in San Diego.

Santa Cruz can coach several defensive schemes. But he is best known for the double-eagle defense that UH ran successfully under Dick Tomey and Bob Wagner. When Tomey went to Arizona, that scheme — known as “Desert Swarm” — was one of the most successful in the country.

Corey Batoon was UH’s defensive coordinator the past two seasons.


  1. A-House January 28, 2020 7:01 am

    first, disappointed that UH hired current coach, but things maybe “looking up” with the hiring of Santa Cruz as DC — truly loved the defense under Tomey & Wagner

  2. Kawika January 28, 2020 4:59 pm

    Welcome back, Coach Santa Cruz!

    I wonder if Coach Graham is speaking or considering this FCS OC whose team led the nation in offense in 2019?


  3. Samson Kela January 29, 2020 11:58 am

    Congrats former Rainbow,
    Welcome back
    Happy for U n family
    I know ur feet has barely touched the sand, but would like to see if a consideration for a possible aide/ asst with knowledge n passion for football, but Defense is his calling.
    Anyway to help U, a fellow Bow. ’81-’85

  4. H-Man January 30, 2020 6:37 am

    Lots of returning D players. Anxious to see how Victor can mold this unit into a Warrior unit like the “Rainbow” he played with to win the ’92 Holiday Bowl.

Comments are closed.