What was rumored earlier in the day is now official: Marques Tuiasosopo will return to Washington and be the new quarterbacks coach. Eric Kiesau will retain his offensive coordinator title, but move from quarterbacks coach to wide receivers coach, filling the opening created by Jimmie Dougherty’s departure to San Jose State.
The move brings Tuiasosopo back to where he played from 1997-2000, leading Washington to a Rose Bowl title his senior season. It also shifts Kiesau to a position he’s held elsewhere. He was wide receivers coach and pass game coordinator at Cal prior to coming to Washington.
Tuiasosopo was an assistant strength coach in 2009 under Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian. His role included charting plays on the sideline during games. He left to join UCLA as an intern in Dec. 2011, then moved up to a position as the Bruins’ tight ends coach under Jim Mora this season.
“I’m very excited to come back home to coach where I played and to help coach 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 said in a press release. “I’m also happy to be coaching the position I love.
“I’m very grateful to Jim Mora and UCLA for giving me the opportunity to get my first full-time coaching job.”
Another intriguing aspect in this hiring is Tuiasosopo’s relationship with quarterback Keith Price. Price called former Washington quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier, now the offensive coordinator at Alabama, each week during the season.
Tuiasosopo was around when Nussmeier was working with Price early on to alter his throwing motion and teaching him aspects of the offense. Price said he called Nussmeier every week last season to discuss his performances. So, Tuiasosopo is a hire that could bring his own expertise in addition to having an understanding of where Price was with Nussmeier.