Don James passes away
Legendary former University of Washington head coach Don James has passed away.
He was 81 years old.
“My family and I are extremely saddened to hear of Coach James’ passing,” current UW head coach Steve Sarkisian said in a statement. “His accomplishments as a football coach stand alone, but what made him truly special is the quality of man he was away from the game.
“The guidance and leadership he instilled into this program and community are still felt today, and will continue to be felt here for a long, long time.”
Born in Massillon, Ohio, James played college ball at Miami (Fla.). He was head coach at Kent State from 1971-74, leading the Golden Flashes to their only MAC championship and bowl game in 1972.
At Washington, he guided the Huskies to six conference titles and the 1991 national championship. James, a 1997 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, finished with a record of 153-58-2 at UW.
James’ influence goes beyond the immense impact he made at Washington. His coaching tree includes the likes of Dom Capers, Jim Mora, Sr. and Jr., Nick Saban, and Gary Pinkel, among others.
Saban played defensive back at Kent State from 1972-74 and has often given James credit for James sparking his interest in becoming a coach.
Photo credit: Bruce Kellman, Tacoma News Tribune