Sarkisian holds back Price and the quarterbacks so as to not reveal much of UW's new, no-huddle offense during the nationally televised scrimmage. Yet Price says
Steve Sarkisian hiring Huskies legend Marques Tuiasosopo to be Keith Price's quarterbacks coach for his senior season is already improving the quarterback. For one, he's already
Dawgs take the practice field under the lights.
More no-huddle offense, a return to familiarity with quarterbacks coach Marques Tuiasosopo, and an emphasis on improving the pass rush will highlight UW's earlier spring practices. They start Tuesday.
The Huskies' quarterback and UW gymnast Phoebe Tham are having a blast as interns in gym classes for kindergartners through 5th graders at Seattle's Green Lake Elementary.
Coach Steve Sarkisian made that official on Dec. 29, 2012, 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."
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.
On Oct. 30, 1999, he became the first Division-I player to gain 300 yards passing and 200 yards rushing in a game. He threw for 302 and ran for 207 as UW beat Stanford 35-30.
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.
Tuiasosopo has four siblings, three of whom were varsity athletes at the UW. Sister Leslie was an All-Pac-10 volleyball player at Washington and is now the Huskies' associate head coach. Brother Zach played fullback and linebacker at the UW while youngest sister, Ashley, played on the powerful UW softball team. Another brother, Matt, signed a Letter of Intent to play quarterback for the Dawgs, but instead signed a professional baseball contract out of high school and has played four seasons in the Major Leagues for the Mariners and Tigers.
Marques earned his bachelor's degree in business from Washington in 2001. He and his wife Lisa, a former volleyball player at North Carolina, have two sons and a daughter.