Long considered one of the greatest quarterbacks in Washington history, Marques Tuiasosopo is returning to his alma mater to coach quarterbacks for Steve Sarkisian, the school said Saturday afternoon.
Tuiasosopo, 33, spent last year as tight ends coach under ex-Husky Jim Mora at UCLA, where he was a graduate assistant the year before. Tuiasosopo’s No. 1 priority at Montlake is solving the mystery of Keith Price, who followed a brilliant sophomore season with mediocre results in his junior year.
Since the Las Vegas Bowl loss to Boise State, the Huskies lost two assistant offensive coaches. Running backs coach Joel Thomas left after four years for Arkansas, and receivers coach Jimmie Dougherty left to become offensive coordinator at San Jose State.
Washington’s offensive coordinator, Eric Kiesau, will change his position-coach duties from quarterbacks to wide receivers to make room for Tuiasosopo. Kiesau was in his first year succeeding Doug Nussmeier, who went to Alabama to be offensive coordinator. Nussmeier was close to Price.
Tuiasosopo, the 2000 Pac-10 offensive player of the year and the MVP of the 2001 Rose Bowl, set UW’s career record for total offense from 1997-2000. He played quarterback for six seasons with Oakland, but his NFL career never took off, playing in only 13 games with two starts and throwing just 90 passes.
“I’m very excited to come back home to coach where I played, and to help Coach Sarkisian continue to bring the Huskies back to where we belong: at the top of the Pac-12,” Sarkisian told gohuskies.com by phone. “I’m also happy to be coaching the position I love. I’m very grateful to Jim Mora and UCLA for giving me the opportunity to get my first full-time coaching job.”
“Marques is a Husky football legend,” Sarkisian said, “and we’re excited to welcome him back home to Washington. He brings a high level of expertise about the quarterback position which will be of great benefit to our program.”
After leaving the Raiders following the 2008 season, he was an assistant strength coach for the Huskies during Sarkisian’s first two seasons at Washington.
Regarding his departure, Dougherty said he was reuniting with a friend in Ron Caragher, who is taking over San Jose State, where Dougherty will be able to call the offensive shots. The two coached at the Uniuversity of San Diego in 2007 and 2008.
“It just really came down to the fact that I knew I could go and coordinate and offense and call plays and do that,” Dougherty told the Seattle Times. “And that’s really the bottom line is being able to run my own show, along with the fact that I get to coach quarterbacks again.”