Duane Akina

  • Title
    Couch Family Defensive Backs Coach

Honolulu, Washington
Alma Mater
Washington ’79
Recruiting Areas
Texas (Dallas, Fort Worth, South, Central, West), Oklahoma, California (Los Angeles County, Central, Gateway, San Gabriel Valley)
Notable Players Coached
Michael Griffin, Michael Huff, Quentin Jammer, Chris McAlister, Justin Reid, Jordan Richards, Aaron Ross, Earl Thomas, Kenny Vaccaro, Rod Babers, Tony Bouie, Chuck Cecil, Darryll Lewis, Nathan Vasher, Quenton Meeks

A 38-year coaching veteran, Duane Akina joined the Stanford coaching staff in 2014. The 2018 season marks his fifth on The Farm.

In 2017, Akina became the program's first Couch Family Defensive Backs Coach after his position was endowed by a gift from George '69 and Debra Couch.

Akina has coached three Thorpe Award winners, six Thorpe finalists and 33 defensive backs who have played in the NFL -- including six Pro Bowlers, eight Super Bowl participants and 12 All-Americans. Akina coached in 24 bowl games.
Akina's secondary has enjoyed success at Stanford, most recently led by All-American safety Justin Reid. Reid, a third-round NFL Draft selection by the Houston Texans, was a pivotal part of a Cardinal defense in 2017 that ranked 12th nationally in passes intercepted (18) and ninth in turnovers gained (28). Reid was one of three All-Pac-12 defensive backs, joining Quenton Meeks and Brandon Simmons.
In 2016, the secondary included two fifth-year senior safeties who provided the cornerstone of a deep and athletic unit. All-Pac-12 honorable mention safety Dallas Lloyd accounted for a team-high five of Stanford's 14 interceptions, including a pair to help secure Stanford's Sun Bowl win over North Carolina. Lloyd's total ranked 13th nationally and second among Pac-12 defenders. He was joined on the All-Pac-12 team by honorable mention selections Quenton Meeks and Justin Reid.
The Cardinal led the Pac-12 and ranked eighth nationally with four defensive touchdowns in 2016 and returned three picks for scores. Stanford also finished 25th nationally in team passing efficiency defense (117.75), a figure that was good for fourth among conference teams.
Anchored by All-Pac-12 second team defensive back Ronnie Harris, Akina’s secondary in 2015 included starting safeties Kodi Whitfield and Lloyd, who each transitioned from offense. The Cardinal posted the league’s fifth-best passing efficiency defense (123.96) and third-best total defense (368.3). Stanford’s secondary allowed only 6.76 yards/pass attempt while picking off eight, led by Meeks’ team-best three interceptions. Meeks added a pick-six in the Rose Bowl win over Iowa.
The Cardinal tied for fifth in the Pac-12 in pass breakups (51).
In Akina’s first season in 2014, Stanford finished second nationally in scoring defense and eighth in passing defense. The Cardinal allowed only one passing score in nine games, including a stretch of five with zero. Stanford forced the same number of interceptions as passing touchdowns allowed (12).
Strong safety Jordan Richards led the Cardinal with three interceptions and forced three fumbles, and was awarded the 2014 National Football Foundation’s Scholar-Athlete Award. Richards was a first team All-Pac-12 selection and finished his career with nine interceptions.
Akina came to Stanford from Texas, where he spent 13 seasons on defense while developing an impressive number of NFL defensive backs.
Akina’s secondary helped Texas rank among the nation’s top 10 in pass defense six times and featured consecutive Thorpe Award winners Michael Huff (2005) and Aaron Ross (2006) to go along with finalists in Earl Thomas (2009) and Quentin Jammer (2001) and 14 first team All-Big 12 picks.
Akina earned titles of assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator in Austin.
Prior to Texas, Akina spent 14 years at Arizona (1987-2000). He started as the defensive backs coach and was named associate head coach before spending four years as the offensive coordinator. He resumed defensive coordinator duties 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 1990 Jim Thorpe Award winner Darryll Lewis and finalist Chris McAlister. Lewis went on to a 10-year NFL career and was a Pro Bowler for the San Diego Chargers. McAlister 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 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 Kamalii.

The Akina File

Season Program Position
1979-80 Washington Graduate Assistant
1981-82 Hawaii Defensive Backs
1983 Hawaii Outside Linebackers
1984-85 Hawaii Defensive Backs
1986 Calgary Stampeders Defensive Backs
1987-91 Arizona Defensive Backs
1989-91 Arizona Associate Head Coach
1992-95 Arizona Offensive Coordinator
1996-00  Arizona Defensive Backs
Defensive Coordinator
2001-02 Texas Defensive Backs
2003 Texas Assistant Head Coach
Defensive Backs
2004-07 Texas Co-Defensive Coordinator
Defensive Backs
2008-13 Texas Assistant Head Coach
Defensive Backs
2014-16 Stanford Defensive Backs
2017-18 Stanford Couch Family Defensive Backs Coach