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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

December 13, 2013 at 11:15 AM

UW’s Marques Tuiasosopo: ‘Washington football is in good hands’

New Washington coach Chris Petersen watched at least part of UW’s practice this morning from the sideline at the Dempsey Indoor facility.

The Huskies practiced for about 90 minutes under the direction of interim coach Marques Tuiasosopo, two weeks before their Dec. 27 matchup against BYU in the Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco.

“These kids are great. I’m looking forward to this opportunity,” Tuiasosopo said. “Football’s the fun part. That’s always the easy part. I think these young men have handled (the coaching transition) great. They’re ready to move on and they want to finish the season right.”

Joining Tuiasosopo on the field coaching were Justin WilcoxEric KiesauTosh LupoiDan Cozzetto and Jordan Paopao. Tuiasosopo was the only coach available for interviews afterward.

Tuiasosopo said he has spoken “briefly” with Petersen, but Tui didn’t want to speculate about his future here or elsewhere.

“He’s been great. He’s stayed out of it,” Tuiasosopo said. “He’s got a lot to work on, and we’ve got a lot to work on as well. …

“He’s got a lot on his plate, I got a lot on my plate and getting our team ready to go and working with these coaches who have stayed. We have a lot of great coaches who have stayed on to help these young men with this bowl game. Our focus has been, let’s just focus on that, because they deserve that. It’s not really about us (the coaches). We’ll be fine. Everything will work out the way it’s going to, but right now we have the bowl, we have a great season that we’re upon and if we can get this thing to nine (wins), I think Husky fans and our school will be very proud of the accomplishment of this team this year. And as they move forward, it’ll be a great platform for them to jump off to bigger and better things.”

I asked Tui if he wants to stay on the UW staff.

“That all will take its course. I really am focusing on the bowl game,” he said. “Whatever happens is going to happen. Regardless, Washington football is in good hands. But I’m just excited about going to get nine wins.”

Interim coach Marques Tuiasosopo at practice this morning at Dempsey Indoor. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times)

Interim coach Marques Tuiasosopo at practice this morning at Dempsey Indoor. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times)

Graduate assistants Danny Razore (defensive backs) and Brandon Huppert (linebackers) are helping out more on defense after the departures of three former UW assistants to USC. Razore was the last coach on the field afterward, working one-on-one with freshman cornerback Jermaine Kelly.

“Coach Wilcox will take a little more command of the whole defense,” Tuiasosopo said. “He trusts those guys, I trust those guys. They’re hard workers and they know what coach Wilcox wants at those positions. We’ll be OK there.”

Tuiasosopo said Kiesau will call the offensive plays during the bowl game.

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