Former UW standout and four-year letterwinner, Leslie Tuiasosopo enters her ninth season as an assistant coach at Washington. Tuiasosopo, who started for the Huskies from 1995-98, works with the team's setters and defense, in addition to assisting head coach Jim McLaughlin with all administrative duties.
Washington's setters have ranked among the nation's elite year-in and year-out during Tuiasosopo and McLaughlin's tenure. Sophomore Jenna Hagglund led the Pac-10 and ranked second in the nation in 2008 in assists per set with 12.17, and was named a third team All-American by the AVCA. One year prior, Hagglund took home All-Pac-10 honors after racking up 13.54 assists per game, ranking second overall in the conference. In the first round of NCAA's, Hagglund put up 76 assists, tying Stanford's Bryn Kehoe for most assists in a single match in 2007.
In 2006, Tuiasosopo helped guide senior setter Courtney Thompson to one of the best individual seasons in Husky history. Thompson was named first-team All-America by both the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and Asics. In addition, she was named the CVU.com (Collegiate Volleyball Update) National Setter of the Year, was a finalist for the Honda Award after winning it in 2005, and was a first-team All-Pac-10 pick.
Tuiasosopo has also aided in the development of Tamari Miyashiro into the top libero in the nation. Miyashiro has been named the Volleyball Magazine National Defender of the Year in both 2007 and 2008, is a multiple All-American, and is poised to break UW's career digs record. Miyashiro's 5.14 digs per set in 2008 was 16th nationally and first among all players from major conferences.
Prior to the 2006 season, Tuiasosopo worked with the team's middle blockers. In 2005, middle blocker Darla Myhre led the Pacific-10 Conference with a .417 hitting percentage, while Alesha Deesing ranked second with a .402 clip.
Deesing earned All-Pac-10 honors and became the first Washington middle blocker to be named to the first team since Tuiasosopo and Makare Desilets earned the award in 1997.
Myhre was also named to the All-Pac-10 honorable mention team in 2005, picking up her third consecutive award.
"Leslie is very talented and has all the skills that great coaches possess," says McLaughlin. "She has a very strong presence and character, which is coupled with her experience of playing the game at its highest level."
Tuiasosopo, along with All-American Makare Desilets, formed one of the nation's best blocking tandems, leading the Huskies to the NCAA blocking title in 1997. A Pac-10 first team selection as a junior, Tuiasosopo ranks in the UW career top 10 in six categories, including total blocks (2nd - 613) and block assists (2nd - 520). She also ranked in the top 25 nationally in blocks per game in each of her four seasons at Washington.
After completing her eligibility in 1998, Tuiasosopo trained with the USA national team program and was selected to participate at the 1999 World University Games in Spain.
She then returned to Washington where she earned her bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in speech communications in 2000.
From August 2000 until May 2001, the Woodinville, Wash., native played professional volleyball in Murcia, Spain.
Tuiasosopo is the oldest of five children, including former UW football players Marques and Zach Tuiasosopo. Marques has played quarterback eight years in the NFL, mostly for the Oakland Raiders, while her youngest brother, Matt, plays professional baseball in the Seattle Mariners farm system.