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Take 2

A different spin on sports by The Seattle Times staff and readers.

October 25, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Don James: What Washington, Husky Stadium meant to me

By Don James

James bookFormer Washington football coach Don James wrote this as part of a forward to new book, “Go Huskies!: Celebrating the Washington Football Tradition,” by W. Thomas Porter. Five days after James’ death from pancreatic cancer, his words show his love of the program he built and the stadium where his teams played. The excerpt is printed with the permission of Triumph Books.  For more information, please visit www.triumphbooks.com/GoHuskies.

There are numerous things that make Washington football special. I can think of none greater than Husky Stadium. Every morning, as I drove to work from my home in Bellevue, it rose magnificently from the horizon as a monument to the Husky program. Now, with its extensive renovation completed, the stadium will continue to provide a beautiful setting and a much more fan-friendly venue.

I think Husky football has different meanings to different people. It means something different to each fan, player, and coach. In my 18 seasons of coaching at the University of Washington, I was associated with some of the greatest teams and players in college football history. Washington is truly one of the finest academic institutions in the world and provides an outstanding environment in which to learn, grow, and mature as an individual.

Don James in a 1985 file photo.

Don James in a 1985 file photo.

I have been greatly impressed with the commitment, the determination, and the pride of the men who wear the purple and gold. They are very tough competitors, and they play at the very highest level in collegiate football. A classic matchup with a big opponent on a Saturday afternoon in Husky Stadium is one of the best in all of sports.

Husky Stadium is an incredible place to play a football game. Its adjacency to the water and the mountains, its upper decks rising to the sky, the walk down the tunnel and onto the field, and the passion of the Husky fans combine to make it one of the greatest venues in college football.

Husky football excites, inspires, and rallies students, faculty, alumni, and the community around the program. All of them are proud of the Huskies tradition.

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