SEATTLE - Tui's back!
Coach Steve Sarkisian made that official on Saturday by hiring Huskies 2001 Rose Bowl MVP Marques Tuiasosopo to be Washington's new quarterbacks coach.
The school has a memorandum of agreement in place with Tuiasosopo, the 2000 Pac-10 offensive player of the year who set UW's career record for total offense from 1997-2000. He played quarterback for eight seasons in the NFL through 2008 and has spent last year as tight ends coach at UCLA after having served as a grad assistant for the Bruins the previous year.
"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, in the Rose Bowl and competing for championships," Tuiasosopo said Saturday by telephone. "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."
Contract details will be finalized soon.
Tuiasosopo's mentoring of returning, fifth-year senior starter Keith Price and the Huskies' deepening quarterback corps will begin sooner than that.
"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."
The return of the 33-year-old native of the Seattle suburb of Woodinville means UW offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau moves his position-coach role to wide receivers. Former Huskies wide receivers coach Jimmie Dougherty left this week to become the offensive coordinator at San Jose State.
In 46 games for the Huskies from the 1997 through 2000 seasons Tuiasosopo passed for 5,879 yards and 33 touchdowns while rushing for 1,495 more yards with 21 more scores.
The son of former Seahawks defensive lineman Manu Tuiasosopo played eight seasons in the NFL as a backup quarterback, seven of those with the Oakland Raiders. He was with the New York Jets in 2007.
After leaving the Raiders and the NFL following the 2008 season, he was an assistant strength coach for the Huskies during Sarkisian's first two seasons at Washington.
UCLA, where Tuiasosopo's father played, hired the younger "Tui" to be its tight ends coach in 2012. Tuiasosopo maintained his Northwest ties by recruiting the area for the Bruins.
That's a role he will have with even more vigor now that he's back with his hometown Huskies.
"I'm looking forward to coming back to Seattle," he said.