Aug. 11, 2009
By TIM BOOTH
AP SPORTS WRITER
SEATTLE -- Marques Tuiasosopo is back in purple and gold - at least until the NFL comes calling again.
Tuiasosopo has been hired as a weight room assistant at Washington, returning to his alma mater while he waits for an NFL job to become available. He has no coaching duties and can't engage in any coaching on the field, but is helping in the Huskies weight room for now.
"I was hoping got sign, I was hoping to continue playing and it didn't happen," Tuiasosopo said. "I was working out here and coach (Steve Sarkisian) and (strength) coach (Ivan) Lewis said 'you can help out in the weight room and hang out in the coach's room and be around football.'"
Tuiasosopo is revered by Husky fans for helping lead Washington to its last Pac-10 title and Rose Bowl trip in 2000, capped by a 34-24 win over Purdue, where he was named the game MVP. He started 27 games in his career, including the final 24. He's also the only quarterback in NCAA history to throw for more than 300 yards and run for more than 200 in a game against Stanford in 1999.
Washington finished the 2000 season No. 3 in The Associated Press Top 25 and Tuiasosopo was the Pac-10 offensive player of the year.
"He's a great motivator. He's been a championship player at this level and in this program," Sarkisian said.
Tuiasosopo played for the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders. He spent last season with Oakland, but is currently without an NFL job. He said he'll jump at any opportunity to play in the NFL, but he also likes the chance at starting small and seeing if some form of coaching is what his post-football ambitions will become.
"I played with a lot of great guys and to be back here is like a dream come true," Tuiasosopo said. "My alma mater, I love to see them do well, and it's great to have coach Sark here and the energy he brings and the staff that he put together."