Former University of Miami quarterback and legendary Washington Huskies coach Don James died Sunday morning after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 80 years old.
James played at Miami in 1952 and 1953, leading the Hurricanes to an 8-12 record in those two seasons. In 1952, he set then-school records for completions (82), attempts (144), yards (913) and completion percentage (56.9 percent). The next season, he broke his own single-season records for completions (121) and passing yards (1,363). He also played defensive back.
After graduating from Miami in 1954 with a bachelor’s degree in education, James began a lengthy coaching career serving as an assistant at Florida State, Michigan, and Colorado.
He was named head coach at Kent State in 1971 where he had a 25-19-1 record in four years and where he was named the 1972 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year. James led Kent Sate to the program’s first bowl game.
In 1975, he took over as the coach at Washington where he coached for 18 seasons, leading the Huskies to six conference titles and the 1991 national championship. That season, he won four different national coach of the year awards and at the time of his retirement, his 10 bowl wins were the fourth-most in major college football history behind Bear Bryant, Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden.
James is survived by his wife, Carol, their three children Jeff, Jill, and Jeni and 10 grandchildren.
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