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Go Utes!

  Ilaisa Tuiaki
Ilaisa Tuiaki

Player Profile
Defensive Line

3rd Year

Alma Mater:
Southern Utah (2006)


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Utes have 15 practice sessions, including Red-White Game.


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Coaching Experience

2012- Utah
2013 Defensive Line
2012 Fullbacks
Tight Ends
2009-11 Utah State
2011 Running Backs
Recruiting Coordinator
2009-10 Running Backs
Special Teams Coordinator
2008 Utah
Graduate Assistant
2006-07 Kearns High School
2007 Offensive Coordinator
2006 Receivers
Outside Linebackers
Bowl Games
2008 Sugar Bowl
2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Ilaisa Tuiaki (pronounced ee-lye-sa too-ee-ah-kee) is in his third season as an assistant at Utah and his second as the defensive line coach. While Tuiaki has coached four positions at Utah, including one season as a graduate assistant, he has made his biggest imprint on the defensive line.

He coached two of Utah's three All-Pac-12 picks last year in defensive end Trevor Reilly and defensive tackle Tenny Palepoi. Reilly, who led Utah and ranked in the top five in the conference in tackles, sacks and tackles for loss, was first-team All-Pac-12, while Palepoi made the second team.

They are two of three Tuiaki-coached defensive linemen from 2013 who are now on NFL rosters: Reilly was a seventh-round draft pick by the New York Jets, and Palepoi (San Diego) and LT Tuipulotu (New England) were both undrafted free agents. In addition, two players he coached his first season at Utah when he oversaw the tight ends and fullbacks are now on NFL rosters as undrafted free agents (Jake Murphy and Karl Williams).

Tuiaki's first college coaching experience was as a Utah graduate assistant helping with the strong side linebackers in the 2008 Sugar Bowl season. He returned to the U. in 2012 in a full-time capacity.

Between his two stints in Salt Lake City, Tuiaki spent three seasons at Utah State as the running backs coach from 2009-11. He was also the special teams coordinator from 2009-10 and was the Aggies' recruiting coordinator in 2011.

With Tuiaki coaching the running backs, Utah State led the Western Athletic Conference and ranked sixth in the nation in rushing in 2011, averaging 282.7 yards per game. Robert Turbin was named the 2011 WAC Offensive Player of the Year, rushing for 1,517 yards while averaging 6.1 yards per carry, and scoring a school-record 19 touchdowns. That same season, Michael Smith was named co-MVP of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and was MVP of the first Players All-Star Classic in Little Rock, Ark.

Tuiaki got his coaching start as an assistant at Kearns High School (Utah), where he coached the wide receivers and outside linebackers in 2006 and was the offensive coordinator in 2007. He also taught sophomore English at Kearns during those two years.

Recruiting Area
Dallas, Central Valley California, Hawaii and American Samoa

Playing Career
Tuiaki was a four-year starting running back while playing for Snow College and Southern Utah. He was a team captain at SUU. An academic all-conference player, he was a two-time winner of a Utah Coalition for the Advancement of Minorities in Higher Education (UCAHME) scholarship. Additionally, Tuiaki played rugby at SUU and was his club team's captain.

Southern Utah, 2006
Bachelor degrees in English and physical education.

Personal Data
Birthdate: Dec. 6, 1978
Hometown: Provo, Utah
Family: Married to the former Viola Wolfgramm. They have five children: sons Laveatu'u and Lolo and daughters Uini, Leisinia and Heilala.

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