A linebacker from Spokane, Peter Tormey was part of Don James‘ second recruiting class at UW in 1976 and witnessed firsthand some of the growing pains it took to build the program into a consistent Rose Bowl contender.
Four decades later, Tormey has published a book analyzing the Huskies’ success in that era through James’ weekly addresses to the team. James gave Tormey more than 100 of his speeches, handwritten on yellow legal paper, which Tormey transcribed. About 55 of the best ones are included in “The Thursday Speeches: Lessons in Life, Leadership and Football from Coach Don James.”
Tormey published the book independently. It was released last month.
“It was a great honor and a privilege to develop this book,” said Tormey, now an associate director of university and public relations at Gonzaga University. “It’s a long time in the making. …
“What’s unique about this book is it’s not a third-party person. It’s me interpreting his messages and themes, but when you get to actual speeches, it’s his words. I wanted it to be very, very authentic, and I think it really shows a side of him that no one else saw, except his players.”
“Speeches” is available at CreateSpace for $14.99 and on Amazon.com.The Kindle version is available for $9.99 on Amazon.com. A portion of the proceeds will be contributed to the UW’s Don James Football Endowment Fund for scholarship assistance to student-athletes who participated in the Washington football program.
The Huskies held their final practice of the year inside Husky Stadium on Sunday morning, before the start of a weeklong Christmas break. Here’s our notebook from today’s paper, with Chris Petersen asking for “perspective” when assessing the chances that Jake Browning can play early for UW.
Browning wrapped up his historic prep career with 91 touchdown passes this season, a national record on top of his national record of 229 career touchdown passes. He begins classes at UW on Jan. 5.
The Huskies, meanwhile, will meet up in Arizona on Sunday to begin in the final push for the TicketCity Cactus Bowl against Oklahoma State on Jan. 2 in Tempe. The blog will be a little quiet this week, but I do have a few things planned through Christmas.