LOS ANGELES – Mike Tuiasosopo has been named outside linebackers/special teams coach, it was announced today by UCLA Head Football Coach Jim Mora.
“With the addition of Mike, we’ve really solidified what is, in my opinion, one of the best coaching staffs in the country,” said Mora. “Mike brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position, and we can’t wait to get him here on campus to help us prepare for the upcoming season.”
Tuiasosopo most recently served two seasons as the defensive line coach at Colorado (2011-12) after spending seven seasons as the defensive tackles/line coach at Arizona (2004-10). At Arizona, the Wildcats ranked among the nation’s top schools in total defense in his final three seasons (24th in 2008, 25th in 2009, 33rd in 2010) while leading the then Pac-10 in quarterback sacks each of those years.
First entering the Division I-A coaching ranks in 1997 as a defensive line coach for Utah State (1996-99), Tuiasosopo then moved to Nevada to coach the Wolf Pack’s defensive line (2000-02) before joining Urban Meyer's staff at Utah in 2003 to coach the defensive tackles.
As a player, Tuiasosopo was a two-time first-team All-Columbia Conference performer at Pacific Lutheran University (1985-88) as a defensive tackle, helping lead PLU to the NAIA Division II National Championship his junior year.
Born in American Samoa but raised in Carson, Calif., Tuiasosopo, an alumnus of Phineas Banning High School in Wilmington, Calif., comes from a football rich family tradition. 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, was a two-time All-America defensive lineman at UCLA , the No. 18 overall pick by Seattle in the 1979 NFL Draft and a starter for the Super Bowl XIX champion (1984 season) San Francisco 49ers.
A younger brother, Navy, lettered at Utah State from 1983-86 and played for both the Los Angeles Rams and St. Louis Cardinals, with a younger sibling, Titus, playing for Southern California from 1988-91. Two more cousins played collegiately and in the NFL: John Tautolo (offensive line, UCLA/N.Y. Giants, New England) and Terry Tautolo (linebacker, UCLA/Philadelphia, Detroit, San Francisco, Miami). Additionally, his nephew, Marques Tuiasosopo, was drafted by the Oakland Raiders after a standout career as a quarterback at the University of Washington and also played for the New York Jets. And another nephew, Conan Amituanai, was an offensive lineman at Arizona.