Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Mike Tuiasosopo
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: December 12, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Fourth Year at Arizona

18 Years in Coaching

?* Helped sophomore Yaniv Barnett develop into an 11-game starter in 2005, adding 27 tackles in the middle of the action. He was the most consistent UA front-line defender, helping the team overcome a rash of injuries.


?* Helped Arizona improve from last in the Pac-10 in rushing and total defense before his arrival to one that finished fifth in total defense a year ago, in a hugely proficient offensive league.


?* Tackle Carlos Williams signed NFL free-agent contract in 2004 after most tackles by an interior lineman at Arizona in five seasons.


?* Helped develop Sione Pouha, 2005 third-round NFL draft pick by the New York Jets.


?* Coached Western Athletic Conference sack leader Jorge Cordova at Nevada in 2002, and Cordova was a third-round NFL draft pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2004.


?* Coached three first-team all-league linemen at Utah State, including 1997 Big West Defensive Player of the Year, Ben Crosland.


?* Served National Football League minority internships in 1997 with the San Francisco 49ers and in 2002 with the Green Bay Packers.


?* Head coach at Berkeley, Calif., High School for three years from 1993-95, earning Oakland Tribune Coach of the Year honors in 1994.


?* Several Berkeley HS players Tuisasosopo coached went on to play professionally, including current Green Cincinnati Bengals starting linebacker Hannibal Navies.


?* Born in American Samoa and grew up in Carson, Calif. Tuiasosopo played four years at Pacific Lutheran from 1985-88, starting at tackle his final three seasons.  Earned first-team All-Columbia Conference selection as a junior and senior at Pacific Lutheran, which won the NAIA Division II national title his junior year and compiled a 36-7-2 mark during his career.



            Mike Tuiasosopo has helped reshape the middle of Arizona’s defense in his first two seasons and leads what is expected to be the program’s top front-line corps in half a dozen years.

            Tuiasosopo, 42, joined the UA staff after a year of coaching defensive tackles at Utah. He is a former college player and has been a collegiate defensive line coach for the past 10 years.

            Tuiasosopo also comes from a football-rich family tradition and his status in the Polynesian community and culture across the western United States and beyond, is a key to UA’s recruiting efforts.

            His uncle, Bob Apisa, was a two-time All-America fullback at Michigan State and was drafted by Green Bay in 1968. A cousin, Manu Tuiasosopo, a two-time All-America defensive lineman for UCLA, was the seventh overall pick in the 1979 draft by Seattle and started for 1985 Super Bowl champion San Francisco. A brother, Navy, lettered at Utah State from 1983-86 and later played for the Los Angeles Rams. Brother Titus played for Southern California from 1988-91. His nephew, Marques Tuiasosopo, was a star quarterback at Washington and is currently with the Oakland Raiders. A nephew, Conan Amituanai, joins the UA program this year.


Oakland Raiders.

Tuiasosopo’s Coaching History

1990   Montclair, Calif., Prep, defensive line

1991   University of the Pacific, graduate assistant, DL/LB

1992   St. Mary’s High School, Stockton, Calif., Linebackers

1993   Berkeley, Calif., High School, Head Coach

1994   Berkeley, Calif., High School, Head Coach

1995   Berkeley, Calif., High School, Head Coach

1996   Utah State, Defensive Line coach

1997   Utah State, Defensive Line coach

1998   Utah State, Defensive Line coach

1999   Utah State, Defensive Line coach

2000   Nevada, Defensive Line coach

2001   Nevada, Defensive Line coach

2002   Nevada, Defensive Line coach

2003   Utah, Defensive Tackles coach

2004   Arizona, Defensive Tackles coach

2005   Arizona, Defensive Tackles coach

2006   Arizona, Defensive Tackles coach

Tuiasosopo in Bowl GAMES

1997   Humanitarian Bowl, Utah State defensive line coach

2003   Liberty Bowl, Utah defensive tackles coach

The Tuiasosopo File

Birthdate:                Sept. 10, 1963, American Samoa

High School:            Phineas Banning High School, Wilmington, Calif., 1981

College:                   Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Wash., 1989

Advanced Degree:    Master’s, education administration, Pacific 1991

Family:                   Wife, Kathy; daughters Lanea and Maya; son Titus

Playing Experience: Pacific Lutheran, defensive tackle, 1985-88

Recruiting Areas:     Central Los Angeles, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Pacific Islands

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