BY SPNW Staff 07:04PM 12/04/2013

Huskies name Tuiasosopo interim coach

Marques Tuiasosopo will coach the University of Washington football team in its upcoming bowl game, the school said Wednesday.

The Huskies MVP of the 2001 Rose Bowl is in his first year as UW’s quarterback’s coach, serving the regular season as mentor to fifth-year senior quarterback Keith Price.

Tuiasosopo played eight seasons in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders and Jets, primarily as a backup quarterback, then became UW’s assistant strength coach during the 2009-10 seasons. He spent two years at UCLA (2011-12), one as a grad assistant, one as a tight ends coach, before former UW coach Steve Sarkisian officially brought him back to Montlake Dec. 29, 2012.

Tuiasosopo, 34, was a versatile dual-threat quarterback for the Huskies from 1997-2000: He threw for 5,879 yards and 33 touchdowns and ran for 1,495 yards and 21 rushing touchdowns during his UW career.

A native of Woodinville, Tuiasosopo met with UW athletic director Scott Woodward early Wednesday. The players learned about the move Wednesday afternoon.

The Huskies, who finished their season 8-4 (5-4 Pac-12), find out Sunday what bowl game they are headed to.


  • jafabian

    The right move. By accepting the USC position Sark undermined his own authority as Husky head coach. His words and direction wouldn’t carry the same weight they did before. Marques is definitely inexperienced as a head coach but the coaches remaining need to stay in the positions they’re in currently. And Marques is the person you want California recruits to meet and the bowl game is the opportunity for that.

    Gotta wonder is Sark considered that he might not be allowed to coach the bowl game or was that a non-issue to him? Always figured he’d either get fired or do well enough to jump to a Cali school or BYU someday.

    • RadioGuy

      We’ll see how it goes, but you have to figure there’s no pressure on Tui to win the (Insert Corporate Sponsor Name Here) Bowl because of his lack of experience. I think you got it right about meeting recruits because I’m pretty sure he doesn’t view Washington as a stepping stone to something else the way the guy he’s filling in for did. Whatever bowl the Huskies go to will be mediocre at best, so the emphasis should probably be on talking to prospective athletes.

      I don’t think Sark ever had coaching at BYU in mind. He went there to advance his personal prospects as a player because he knew LaVell Edwards would throw the ball enough so that even a mediocre QB could rack up big numbers, but that’s pretty much it. I don’t envision most head coaches considering a move from the UW and Seattle to Provo as upward.

  • ll9956

    I agree with jafabian that Tui was the right choice as interim coach. He’s the same age as Sark was when he came here, although Sark had more coaching experience. I think his youth will be conducive to the players taking to him. Among a coach’s primary responsibilities, of course, is to provide leadership and require discipline among the players. I believe he will exude the idea that “we’re all in this together”. This isn’t a bad thing as long as Tui makes clear who is in charge.

    In a slightly different vein, the timing of Haden’s offer to Sark makes no sense to me. Absent USC’s offer, Sark wasn’t going anywhere. I can’t picture him being any less available after the bowl games are played than he was before. He won’t be head coach for USC’s bowl game, although he certainly will be involved in some way. USC’s best chance to win their bowl game would have been with Orgeron as head coach, as evidenced by his success after taking over and the fact that many of his players were upset by his departure. Overall I can’t see that USC gained anything by courting Sark now rather than after the season is over.