Tuiasosopo talks about coming home

New UW QB Coach Marques Tuiasosopo

After spending the last two years at UCLA, former Washington signal caller Marques Tuiasosopo is returning home and will coach the quarterbacks for the Huskies. We talked with ‘Tui' to go over how hard the decision was, what are his thoughts on current Husky QB Keith Price and what his recruiting responsibilities will be.

Marques Tuiasosopo was raised in the Seattle area growing up in Woodinville (Wash.) and attended Woodinville High School. He signed with Washington back in 1997 and is considered a local legend after leading the Huskies to their last Rose Bowl win in 2000.

It's for all those reasons and more why Tuiasosopo is heading back home and will coach the quarterbacks for the Huskies next fall.

"I'm so exited for this opportunity," Tuiasosopo said. "I talked with Sark (Steve Sarkisian) last Sunday and that got the ball rolling. It definitely wasn't an easy decision because I loved it at UCLA and loved working with Coach Mora. I prayed about it with my wife and my family and just had an overwhelming peace about it and decided I had to make this move.

"Coach Mora made it hard to leave, and UCLA stepped up to try and get me to stay but the big thing for me, other than coming back home, was the opportunity to coach quarterbacks. That's what I played, and I really have a passion for the position. UCLA is a great program and whoever Jim (Mora) gets to replace me will do a great job but this was an opportunity to bring my wife back home and I see great upside with the Washington program."

Tuiasosopo has already worked with Sarkisian previously as a strength coach and is very familiar with the system.

"I think I'll be able to jump right in and be comfortable from day one," Tuiasosopo said. "I know how Sark prepares the team, I know how practices are run. I know what they do Monday- Friday and what the game preparation and tempo is all about. I know how they travel and what game day is all about. I'm very excited to work with Sark and the entire staff and I'm excited about what my role in the offense will be.

"I know when Nuss (Doug Nussmeier) was there coaching quarterbacks in the past, Sark always allows the whole offense staff to have input in the game plan and everyone works as a unit. That's definitely exciting for me but I know my main job is building the relationship with the quarterback and making sure he's on the same page with the play caller, which will be Sark. You need to build that trust and I can't wait to get started on that."

The Huskies return senior quarterback Keith Price and have several young talented signal callers on the roster as well.

"That was another factor for me for sure," Tuiasosopo said. "I know Keith really well and was at Washington his freshman and redshirt freshman season. He has a lot of talent and is a great competitor. He's a natural leader and I know how much he wants to be good. I know he didn't have the kind of season some expected from him this year and to be honest, I didn't have a chance to watch him a ton but I know what he's capable of.

"My job is to get him going in the right direction and I'm very excited to work with him. Last year is over and to be honest, I don't even care about what happened last year. My job is to make sure Keith can grasp the offense and not be a robot back there but make the right decisions and know why he's doing what he's doing. I also know all about Cyler Miles, Jeff Lindquist and Derrick Brown and they're all talented kids. It's definitely a great situation to walk in to."

Tuiasosopo added his coaching style will be similar to how he recruits.

"I believe in just being myself, being honest," Tuiasosopo said. "I'm real with guys and I think that's how you have to be. They know if you're fake or not. It's a special relationship between a quarterback and the quarterback coach, you have to build that trust between the two of you. Sometimes, it requires a pat on the back and other times you have to be a little harder to make a point.

"For me, playing quarterback at a high level is a mind set that starts with how you prepare yourself every day. If you're not going to class and taking care of your responsibilities off the field, you're not going to be able to come in to a coaches meeting and process all the information with a clear head. You have to be able to lead and that's something I'm big on."

As for his recruiting responsibilities, Tuiasosopo said he still needs to work some things out but is excited to get going.

"I think I'll cover the same areas I've been covering at UCLA since that's what I'm familiar with, at least right now," Tuiasosopo said. "I have San Diego, Utah and the Northwest region and I'm excited to get going. Right now, I'm still working out some details and need to find a place to live so it will probably be after the New Years when I get started and Sark and the staff is fine with that."

As for what it will be like spending the last year recruiting for one school and then switching gears and recruiting for another just a month before Signing Day?

"It's definitely going to be different, it's a little weird," Tuiasosopo said. "Like I said earlier though, my philosophy is to just be honest with the guys and I don't talk bad about other programs. UCLA is a great program and it was fun to recruit there but Washington is a great program too and has a lot to sell as well.

"I think when you recruit to a school, you want that play to pick your program for all the right reasons. They shouldn't pick a school just because of the coach recruiting him. I know that has a lot to do with it but they should pick a school because of the school itself and where they feel they'll fit in the best. Everything always works out in the end the way it's supposed to and I'm confident that's how things will play out the rest of this recruiting season as well.

"One thing I won't do is negative recruit anyone. I have too much respect for Coach Mora and he has been a great mentor to me and will continue to be a mentor to me. He gave me my first opportunity and right after I told Sark I was coming, I called all my players at UCLA and told them how special they were to me. I'm going to continue to root for them but I'm a Husky now and I'm thrilled about this opportunity as well. This is a very special place and my whole family is just as excited as I am." Greg Biggins has been covering recruiting for over 15 years, covering the West since the mid-1990's and currently serves as a national analyst for
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