BY SPNW Staff 11:01PM 12/29/2013

Huskies’ Tuiasosopo will join Sark on USC staff

Marques Tuiasosopo, who led Washington to a bowl victory Friday over BYU, has accepted an offer from USC head coach Steve Sarkisian to coach the Trojans’ tight ends, according to sources who told the Seattle Times Sunday night.

The former QB great, who led the Huskies to a triumph in the 2001 Rose Bowl, reportedly had a similar offer from new UW coach Chris Petersen. Tuiasosopo initially stayed behind when Sarkisian bolted for USC two days after the Apple Cup. Tuiasosopo was hired a year ago from UCLA by Sarkisian to help mentor QB Keith Price.

USC is also expected Monday to announce the hiring of Justin Wilcox as defensive coordinator, according to the Times. He had the same job at Washington for two years under Sarkisian.

Wilcox, who reportedly was the Pac-12’s highest-paid assistant at $800,000 a year, also stayed on to coach in the bowl game, but only after he lost out in his bid to fill the head-coaching vacancy created by Petersen’s departure from Boise State.

Petersen is expected to announce his UW coaching staff early this week.


  • 1coolguy

    Obviously “loyalty” is a bunch of BS.
    Mora, then Sark now Tui – this really teaches the current players about life’s realities: EVERYBODY FOR THEMSELF!!!

  • Gag Harbor

    Coach Pete says he wants OKGs and apparently some of these (Tuiasosopo, Wilcox) coaches prefer to work for Sarkisian instead of Petersen. It’s not really about loyalty to a school and we see it over and over where assistants follow coaches and opportunities over alma maters. Otherwise Wilcox would still be in the trenches trying to work for his alma mater (Oregon) in some capacity of another.

    From what I’ve read Coach Pete is a bit of a control-freak (probably in a good way). He wants every detail to be approved and that may even mean he believes he can operate a coaching staff with a smaller budget than $arkisian. I know I was surprised the UW was giving some of Sarkisian’s assistants the kind of money the UW ended up paying. Remember the Nick Holt debacle that really could only be blamed on Sark for going to Woodward with an overpaid demand that obviously was proven to be disastrous for the team.

    I was never impressed with the Eric Kiesau hiring from Cal and apparently neither was Sark because no offer was made to bring him to U$C.

    It’s a weird position to see a big school like UW to be in… Hiring Sark away from SC 5 years ago, paying him huge money (like top 10% nationwide) for a first-time coach and then being forced into paying some huge salaries for assistants. Maybe Coach Pete’s belief is that a program needs to be managed with some parameters? Salary-control can go a long way to establish a healthy environment among a staff. Too many rock stars can mess up the focus on the goal of a tight ship.

    I mean, maybe Lupoi had too much pocket change to control him self when he was pouring coffee for local coaches??

    It doesn’t look like Lupoi will end up a Trojan assistant and that really looks like Sark cut him adrift to deal with the allegations on his own. I bet Tosh will have a different path in this business than he was imagining just a few weeks ago. I’d like to ask Sark, if Lupoi was not good enough to bring to SC or were the allegations the only reason to drop him? If he was that good (i.e., worth all the money UW was forced to pay for him) then why not bring him to USC? And if he was that good then how did he misunderstand all of your intense efforts to promote a culture of compliance??? Not sure you can have it both ways and keep a straight face.

    Tight-ends coaches don’t make enough difference to a team to worry about one or another. I’m sure Tui and whoever Coach Pete has around will both do fine jobs. Each of them would consider the job to be a stepping stone anyway. I can’t see any reason to think keeping Tui would help recruiting or anything else. I look forward to hearing about the positive things that come out of the new staff going forward. It can’t be nearly as bad it has been since the 3-game losing streak followed by lies, accusations and talk of loyalty.

  • oldfan

    Can’t blame Tui, he’s making the business decision he find best for himself. ASJ (and probably Sankey too) will jump to the NFL because it makes good business sense. College football is a business, a free minor league system for the NFL and a cash cow for the NCAA and ESPN. Loyalty and tradition are PR points they used to sell their product to the paying fans, but abandon in a second for an extra buck. Football is fun to watch but don’t expect any ethical or moral values. It’s strictly for profit. Anything else is an illusion.

  • RadioGuy

    Hate to see Tui heading to USC but, like oldfan, I don’t blame him. What was he supposed to do? Wait for Petersen to come to him with a job offer? What if that offer never came?

    Loyalty is great, but loyalty by itself has never put food on the table, gas in the tank or a roof over one’s head. This is Marques’ chosen profession, he’s doing what’s best for HIM and it’s not like coaching at USC is the worst thing he could be doing (although Dad might think otherwise, being a UCLA alum).

    • 1coolguy

      it’s been reported Petersen offered Tui the tight ends coach position.

      • RadioGuy

        If that’s the case, I’ll willingly concede to your point while holding to the rest of mine. It would’ve been great to see Tuiasosopo stay at the UW, but he has to do what’s best for HIM and he’s obviously comfortable working with Sark. At this level, it’s a business.

  • jafabian

    To be expected. I imagine Coach Peterson would be hesitant to have a former All-American alum to who was the interim head coach that lead them to a bowl win around on his staff. It could cause players to go to Tui instead of him for direction and no head coach would want a possibility of that kind of schism on his staff.

    No reason why Tui couldn’t return someday and I’m sure he’s on UW’s radar now. Or even the NFL’s. Hope he does well in whatever path he chooses to travel on.

  • Steve Graham

    It’s surprising at the surprise (and irrational anger) shown towards Tui for his decision. “He;s a TRAITOR!!” From the moment Petersen publicly announced J. Smith would be his quarterbacks coach, Tui knew his former job was gone. And, just as important, so did Steve Sarkisian. Even if Tui were offered another position, the awkwardness, even the possibility of stifling tension on the coaching staff that jfabian touched on, could be off the charts. None of the principal players or anyone else at Montlake, would want that.

    Unless otherwise firmed up before the bowl game, some Husky assistants were keeping mum on their futures until afterward, despite privately knowing what their futures were, in the form of jobs offered — or not offered — already done behind the scenes. Of course, that scenario would especially apply to Tui, the interim coach. It’s not one bit hard to believe that Sark/Tui had plenty of contact after J. Smith was named UW QB coach. Further, it’s eminently reasonable that even working as a tight ends coach at USC would be more palatable for Tui than staying on the UW staff, having to see Smith in his former position day after day. My guess is the new-guy-in-town, Petersen, made the ostensible job offer to the much-loved Husky legend as nothing more than a courtesy to publicly and clearly curry favor with Husky Nation; both he and Tui already knew the latter would never accept. Seemed like a PR move to me. Coaches also have to be astute politicians.

    Many Husky fans of the hot/cold variety are already ripping on Petersen, but I’m going to trust in the guy until he shows us a reason — during the actual football season — not to. Winning next fall will magically cure any bruised feelings of those who are already looking so hard to criticize and feel aggrieved.

  • ll9956

    At first glance I was shocked that Tui would head to USC, but after reading all the comments here, I can now see why he would make that choice. Looking back on it, as soon as it was known that Smith is Petersen’s choice for QB coach, it should have been clear that Tui wasn’t about to hang around, knowing someone else was doing the job he wanted. There can be no doubt that he communicated his hopes to Petersen. Sark almost certainly knew that Tui wouldn’t be happy playing second fiddle, as it were, at UW and grabbed him when the grabbing was good.

    I agree with oldfan that there is no such thing as loyalty in big time sports. It’s all about career advancement and money. That’s just the way it is. Given that Tui is about 15 years younger than Petersen, I think there is a good chance that at some point in the future, Tui will return to UW, likely as head coach.

    I can’t get too upset at Petersen’s decisions so far.

  • Jeff Shope

    what the? Sarl leaving was one thing but Tui leaving to join him is a slap in the face to dawg fans why didn’t he just leave last month if he was going to abandon his alma mater team anyway?