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Stanford Welcomes Duane Akina
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 03/10/2014

STANFORD, Calif. –  Stanford has named 35-year coaching veteran Duane Akina as its new assistant coach for defensive backs in an announcement made Monday afternoon.

Akina comes to Stanford from the University of Texas, where he spent the last 13 seasons on the defensive side of the ball and developing an impressive number of NFL defensive backs.  Akina has coached three Thorpe Award winners, six Thorpe finalists and 28 defensive backs to have played in the NFL.

“I am very excited to add Duane to our coaching staff,” Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football David Shaw said. “Duane’s combination of experience and expertise comes when we need it; picking up a defensive backs coach of his caliber is a huge boost for Stanford Football.

"Duane’s teaching-oriented style is perfect for our student-athletes. He is the well-known leader of ‘DBU,’ and I’m looking forward to seeing that same mentality demonstrated by our secondary.” 


Akina’s secondary helped Texas rank among the nation’s top 10 in pass defense six times and featured consecutive Thorpe Award winners in Michael Huff (2005) and Aaron Ross (2006) to go along with two finalists in Earl Thomas (2009) and Quentin Jammer (2001) and 14 first-team All-Big 12 picks. Eleven of the Texas DBs he has tutored are currently in the NFL. Akina earned titles of assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator during his stay in Austin.

Akina has 35 years of coaching experience all told, with 34 of those coming at the collegiate level.

Prior to his time at Texas, Akina spent 14 years at the University of Arizona (1987-2000). He started as the defensive backs coach en route to being named associate head coach before spending four years as the offensive coordinator. He returned to the defense as defensive coordinator shortly before his departure.

Akina helped guide Arizona’s famed “Desert Swarm” defense, one of the nation’s most aggressive and productive groups. He coached Darryll Lewis, the 1990 Jim Thorpe Award winner and Chris McAlister, a finalist for the Thorpe Award. Lewis went on to a 10-year NFL career and was a Pro Bowler for the San Diego Chargers. McAlister, meanwhile, earned a spot in the 2004 Pro Bowl and was a member of the 2000 Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens.

Akina also spent five years at the University of Hawaii (1981-85) following a graduate assistant role at his alma mater, Washington (1979-80). His one season at the professional level came in 1986 when he served as the defensive backs coach for Calgary in the Canadian Football League.

A native of Hawaii, Akina graduated from Washington in 1979. He earned three letters as a quarterback for the Huskies.

Akina and his wife, Donna, have five children: Kainoa, Keoni, Dionicia, Alli and Kmalii.

The Akina File

Program Seasons Position
Washington 1975-79 Quarterback
  1979-80 Graduate Assistant
Hawaii 1981-82 Defensive Backs
  1983 Outside Linebackers
  1984-85 Defensive Backs
Calgary (CFL)   1986 Defensive Backs
Arizona 1987-91 Defensive Backs
  1989-91 Associate Head Coach
  1992-95 Offensive Coordinator
  1996-2000   Defensive Backs
    Defensive Coordinator (Dec. 2000 - spring 2001)
Texas 2001-02 Defensive Backs
  2003 Assistant Head Coach
    Defensive Backs
  2004-07 Co-Defensive Coordinator
    Defensive Backs
  2008-13 Assistant Head Coach
    Defensive Backs
Stanford 2014 Defensive Backs



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