Updated Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 09:08 AM
The University of Washington reached out to one of the most legendary names in its history to fill an opening on its football coaching staff Saturday, hiring Marques Tuiasosopo as quarterbacks coach.
Tuiasosopo, who was the Pac-10's Offensive Player of the Year in 2000 when he led the Huskies to an 11-1 season and their last Rose Bowl win, spent the last two years at UCLA, serving last season as tight-ends coach.
"I'm very excited to come back home to coach where I played and to help Coach (Steve) 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 was quoted in a news release from the school. "I'm also happy to be coaching the position I love."
Tuiasosopo fills one of two spots on the UW staff that have come open since the season ended Dec. 22 with a loss to Boise State in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, which left the Huskies at 7-6 for the third straight season.
Running-backs coach Joel Thomas left for the same role at Arkansas, while receivers coach Jimmie Dougherty took a job as offensive coordinator at San Jose State.
Tuiasosopo's hire leaves UW still needing to fill Thomas' spot. The hire also allows incumbent QB coach Eric Kiesau to move to the position where he has more experience. He was the receivers coach at Cal before coming to UW before the 2011 season and also coached receivers at Colorado for three years.
UW said contract details for Tuiasosopo would be announced at a later date. He was making $100,000 at UCLA but will likely make at least twice that with the Huskies. Dougherty was due to make $205,000 at UW in 2013.
Tuiasosopo played four years at quarterback for UW, starting all of the 1999 and 2000 seasons, leading the Huskies to a combined record of 18-6 in those two seasons. He played in the NFL from 2001-08, primarily with the Raiders, including one season when his position coach was Sarkisian.
After his playing career ended, he spent the 2009-10 seasons at UW as an assistant strength coach before leaving for UCLA and the chance to work as an on-field coach.
"Marques is a Husky football legend," Sarkisian said in the same release. "He brings a high level of expertise about the quarterback position which will be of great benefit."
The Huskies hope that the return of Tuiasosopo will help revive senior quarterback Keith Price, who struggled through the 2012 season after a record-setting 2011 as a sophomore. Tuiasosopo built a relationship with Price during his two years as UW assistant strength coach.
Tuiasosopo also recruited the San Diego area and the Northwest for the Bruins, and figures to continue recruiting locally for UW.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com.
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