Tui bolts from UW to join Sark at USC

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SEATTLE — Marques Tuiasosopo has accepted an offer to become the tight ends coach at USC, multiple sources told The Seattle Times on Sunday.

The popular former Washington quarterback was named the Huskies’ interim head coach earlier this month, then guided UW to a 31-16 victory over Brigham Young in the Fight Hunger Bowl on Friday night.

USC will make a formal announcement of Tuiasosopo’s hiring today, a source said. USC is also expected to announce the hiring of UW defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox in his same role.

New UW coach Chris Petersen had offered Tuiasosopo, 34, a chance to remain at UW as tight ends coach, sources said. Tuiasosopo did not return a message seeking comment.

Petersen is expected to announce his UW coaching staff early this week. Former Boise State quarterbacks coach Jonathan Smith will succeed Tuiasosopo as UW’s quarterbacks coach, sources have said.

Smith is one of seven former Boise State assistants expected to join Petersen’s staff at UW.

The Fight Hunger Bowl victory gave the Huskies a 9-4 record this season, the program’s most wins since Tuiasosopo led the Huskies to an 11-1 finish and a Rose Bowl win during the 2000 season. The Woodinville native was named the 2000 Pac-10’s offensive player of the year and led the Huskies to an 18-6 record in his two seasons as the full-time starting quarterback

He went on to play in the NFL from 2001 to 2008, primarily with the Oakland Raiders, including one season when his position coach was Steve Sarkisian.

A year ago, Tuiasosopo was hired by Sarkisian, then the UW head coach, to serve as UW’s quarterbacks coach. Sarkisian left UW to coach the Trojans on Dec. 2, and three UW assistants joined the USC staff later that week.

“I coached Tui, so he knows how I coach; he knows what I’m looking for,” Sarkisian said in November. “A lot of times, I don’t even need to say what I’m thinking. He already has an idea.”

Tuiasosopo spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons on the staff at UCLA, coaching tight ends his final season there.

Wilcox, 37, was the highest-paid assistant coach in the Pac-12 this past season, making about $800,000. He was saying his goodbyes to UW players after the Fight Hunger Bowl on Friday.

Wilcox got his first job as a defensive coordinator under Petersen at Boise State in 2006. Wilcox and close friend Peter Sirmon, a linebackers coach, came to UW from Tennessee in January 2012 and helped turn around a defense ranked 106th in the nation in 2011. The Huskies ranked 31st in total defense in 2012 and 55th this season.

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