(Glendora) – Victor Santa Cruz has stepped down as the head football coach at Azusa Pacific to take the over as the defensive coordinator at the University of Hawaii, his alma mater, the school announced Monday.
Santa Cruz spent 19 years at Azusa Pacific including the last 14 years as the head coach. Santa Cruz had an overall record of 84-69 and led the Cougars to four Northwest Athletic Conference Championships – 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018. APU advanced to the NCAA playoffs in ’16 and ’18.
Santa Cruz played linebacker for Hawaii from 1990 through 1994. As a sophomore in 1992 he played on the Rainbow Warriors team that won the Western Athletic Conference Championship and beat Illinois in the Holiday Bowl.
“Victor has elevated Azusa Pacific football over the past 19 years. His leadership built on the strong foundation that had been laid by previous head coaches,” said Athletic Director Gary Pine in a statement.
The Cougars, led by Pine, will now begin the search for a new head coach.