UW’s quarterbacks coach, the MVP of the 2001 Rose Bowl for the Huskies, gets the chance to get Washington its first nine-win season since he last played for the Dawgs. “I’m humbled,” he said.
By Gregg Bell
UW Director of Writing
SEATTLE – The Huskies will have one of their legendary players leading them in this month’s bowl game.
UW Director of Athletics Scott Woodward has named quarterbacks coach Marques Tuiasosopo as the interim head coach for Washington’s bowl.
The decision came Wednesday afternoon, after Tuiasosopo had met earlier in the day with Woodward. Woodward told the players about the move in a late-afternoon meeting inside the football operations center at Husky Stadium.
“Coach Tui,” as the players call him, just finished his first season as Washington’s QBs coach after being an assistant at UCLA. The Huskies’ dynamic passer and runner and then long-time NFL quarterback was the Most Valuable Player of UW’s last Rose Bowl win, at the end of the 2000 season.
Now he gets the chance to get the Huskies their first nine-win season since that one, which Tuiasosopo finished 11-1.
“I’m humbled and so honored,” Tuiasosopo said. “It’s a great, incredible honor to lead my alma mater in a bowl game.
“We still have a lot to play for this season. I am excited to go out and get a ninth win."
This is Tuiasosopo’s first head-coaching experience of any kind. The rest of the coaching staff for the bowl is still to be determined, but it won't be the same, complete cast of assistants that led UW through its regular season.
Tuiasosopo was the Pac-10 offensive player of the year in 2000. The year before that, as a junior, he became the first player in NCAA Division-I history to pass for 300 yards and run for 200 in the same game.
When Tuiasosopo returned to UW and began coaching the quarterbacks in spring practice this past March, Keith Price called the arrangement "perfect."
Now, for his final game as a Husky, Price gets "Tui" as his head coach.