From QB To Coach: Tui Is A Natural
SAN FRANCISCO – For Marques Tuiasosopo, working as Washington’s interim coach has taken him back to his playing days.
Each day he steps onto the practice field with the Huskies, “it’s kind of like being a quarterback again, trying to lead your offense.”
Through two days of bowl practices in San Francisco, the former Washington standout has been impressed with the effort of his players, honored the Huskies have embraced his leadership while they prepare for Friday’s Fight Hunger Bowl against BYU at AT&T Park.
“It’s been an amazing experience,” Tuiasosopo said after Tuesday’s practice. “It’s something new every day. It’s a tremendous honor. It’s a challenge and I’m just trying to uphold the values of our football program and our university, continuing to instill the hard work, passion and dedication it takes for us to continue to win on a daily basis. It’s been a whirlwind, but I love it.”
For those who have watched Tuiasosopo lead Washington, the coach is a natural at his new position.
“He was born to be a quarterback and born to be a head coach, too,” color analyst and former Husky quarterback Damon Huard said. “He’s a leader of men.”
Despite all of the recent changes to the program, practices at City College of San Francisco have maintained the standard of energy and efficiency the coaching staff has expected throughout the year.
“The kids have bought in,” Huard said. “They’ve behaved themselves down here. They’re practicing hard. It’s just been a lot of fun to watch Marques run the show the past couple of weeks, being the leader we all know he is. I believe the kids are going to come out and play strong Friday night.”
When asked what he thought of the job Tuiasosopo has done so far, cornerback Marcus Peters said, “Tui has been excellent. Practices have been so much fun. We bring so much energy. With everything happening, Tui has made us become a little bit closer. It’s helping us get to the point we need to be at, because we understand the situation we’re in right now.”
After starting the year as Washington’s quarterbacks coach, Tuiasosopo is now tasked with coordinating schedules, running practices and making sure players have everything they need.
The Huskies have been impressed with his performance.
“He’s doing a great job,” defensive lineman Danny Shelton said. “It’s a lot to put on a young guy’s shoulders. He’s been given an opportunity. It’s a blessing for him, his family and for us, too.”
The past few weeks have been an audition of sorts, a chance for Tuiasosopo to both experience what it’s like to be a head coach, while proving he is capable of running a program.
So far, so good.
“We started this thing together,” Tuiasosopo said. “Even though we’re down some of the coaches that started the year, we want to finish this.”