Marques Tuiasosopo, a former UW QB and one of the more legendary players in school history, is leaving the position he has held at Washington for the past two years for a similar job at UCLA, it was confirmed tonight.
Tuiasosopo has been an assistant strength coach for the Huskies since the fall of 2009 after his eight-year NFL career came to an end. In that role, he has not been allowed to coach on the field (per NCAA regulations) but has been able to work with players in the weight room and handle other duties at practices and games.
At UCLA, he will join his coach at UW, Rick Neuheisel, who is entering his fourth year with the Bruins. It’s a little unclear exactly what Tuiasosopo’s role will be at UCLA other than that it apparently would not be a full-time assistant’s job as the Bruins do not have any openings. A UCLA spokesman said he could not confirm the move or say exactly what position Tuiasosopo would fill.
SECOND UPDATE, 10:50 a.m. — What I’ve further heard this morning is that Tuiasosopo has agreed to go to UCLA as either a graduate assistant or an intern. The hope is that he will be a G.A., but there are some hurdles that have to be jumped — namely, getting accepted to grad school — that apparently haven’t happened yet. So, Tuiasosopo has agreed that he would be an intern if the G.A. job doesn’t work out. Because of the uncertainty, however, there may not be an official announcement of what his job will be down there for a while. GA’s make less money but can work on the field in the same manner as full-time coaches.
Tuiasosopo has said he hoped to enter coaching on a permanent basis, but UW does not have any jobs open on its full-time assistant coaching staff with all nine expected to return for a third straight year in 2010 (some, in fact, are in the process of having new contracts completed).
UW will have two new graduate assistant coaches for 2011, but Tuiasosopo won’t be among them.
Tuiasosopo’s father, Manu, was a defensive lineman at UCLA before becoming a first round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 1979, and he later settled in Woodinville with all five of his children eventually signing letters-of-intent to play a sport at UW (though one, Matt, never enrolled at UW, instead signing with the Mariners).
Marques Tuiasosopo, who was born in Long Beach at the tail end of his father’s college career, seriously considered UCLA before signing with UW in 1997, eventually leading the Huskies to a Rose Bowl title and an 11-1 season as a senior in 2000.
He played primarily for the Raiders during an NFL career from 2001-08 before returning to UW.