By Brady Henderson
Marques Tuiasosopo has been named Washington’s interim head coach, while multiple sources tell 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard that Boise State’s Chris Petersen is among the candidates for the full-time job.
Tuiasosopo, who quarterbacked the Huskies to a win in the 2001 Rose Bowl, is in his first season coaching the position for Washington. He met earlier Wednesday with athletic director Scott Woodward, who informed the team during a meeting later in the day that Tuiasosopo will coach the Huskies in their upcoming bowl game.
“I’m humbled and so honored,” Tuiasosopo told the school’s athletics website. “It’s a great, incredible honor to lead my alma mater in a bowl game. We still have a lot to play for this season. I am excited to go out and get a ninth win.”
The Huskies, who are 8-4 after winning the Apple Cup, will know by next week which bowl game they’ll be playing in.
They hope to know soon as well who will replace coach Steve Sarkisian, who left Monday to take the same job at USC. Other candidates reportedly include defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.
And then there’s Petersen, whose name seems to come up every time a prominent head-coaching job becomes available. The website FootballScoop.com reported Tuesday that Petersen “is intrigued enough to listen” to Washington, which is significant given that he’s remained at Boise State for eight seasons despite constantly drawing interest from what are considered to be more prestigious programs.
Petersen, who is 92-12 with a 5-2 record in Bowl games at Boise State, reportedly withdrew his name from consideration for USC’s head-coaching vacancy before Sarkisian was hired.
Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News reported Wednesday that Washington was scheduled to interview Wilcox, who initially appeared to be following Sarkisian to USC. One of the holdups – according to Wolf and Adam Jude of The Seattle Times – is that USC may not be willing to pay the $1 million buyout in his contract with Washington.
Wilcox is in his second season at Washington, where he’s turned around a defense that was among the worst in the conference under previous coordinator Nick Holt.
FootballScoop.com reported that Nussmeier is interested in the job. Nussmeier was Washington’s offensive coordinator from 2009-2011 before taking the same job at Alabama.
• Two of Washington’s assistant coaches, Johnny Nansen and Keith Heyward, will reportedly join Sarkisian at USC. Heyward is the Huskies’ defensive backs coach, while Nansen is the assistant head coach, special teams coordinator and running backs coach.