Praise for ‘The Thursday Speeches’

Do I Recommend?

“College football fans, especially those living in the Pacific Northwest, will enjoy this collection of motivational speeches by the legendary coach. The fact that the book is written by a former player of James’ program will make it even more special to those readers.” — Lance Smith, sports book critic. Read full review

‘Pete Has Nailed’ Essence of Coach James’ Speeches

All of you who may be intrigued by The Thursday Speeches, having heard 18 years worth of those from Coach James as an assistant at two different universities (at least 200 speeches with bowl games), I can honestly attest to the fact that Pete has nailed these in this book. I appreciate the many great principles and life lessons that he shares from those “Thursday Speeches.” I speak to many businesses and organizations around the country about “Winning, Losing and Lessons Learned,” and the meat and potatoes comes from all those years of learning from Coach James! – Skip Hall, former head football coach at Boise State University, assistant head coach at University of Washington and University of Missouri, and assistant coach at Colorado and Kent State. 

‘A Wonderful Work with Powerful Lessons’

The Thursday Speeches by Peter Tormey is a wonderful work with powerful lessons about leadership, motivation, and the human spirit. This book explains what a magnificent man Coach James was and shows why he remains the most successful football coach in the history of UW and the Pacific-12 Conference. Coach James’ wisdom and brilliance will be accessible to everyone now and to future generations thanks to this book. Anyone who aims to become a truly great human being should read The Thursday Speeches. – Tim Cowan, former Husky quarterback, Seattle.

‘This Book Is So Don James . . . a Great Coach and Teacher Until His Last Breath

This book is so Don James. He was a great coach and teacher until his last breath and passed his legacy on to every coach and player he touched. His attention to detail and commitment to excellence are here on these pages and continue to inspire those who had the good fortune to work with him, coach with him, play under him, or just be lucky enough to be a fan in his stands on game day. Thank you, Don, we love you! – Rick Redman, Seattle, former Husky All-American linebacker. 

‘Best Work I Have Read in Quite Some Time’

The Thursday Speeches is wonderful! Best work I have read in quite some time, and probably the first book in five years for which I’ve actually read every word. All the insights into leadership, details, personal character, the importance of mental preparation and desire to compete are extremely valuable. Thanks very much for seeing your project all the way through because it’s great stuff. – Mike Roarke, Portland, Oregon.

Joe Steele: Book Reveals Secrets of ‘The Master’

“Husky football fans will want to read Peter Tormey’s book for the behind-the-scenes thinking that went into development of the program from the mid-1970s, to the ’80s and early ’90s. The Thursday Speeches reveals the ‘secret sauce’ that DJ used to resuscitate the program and power the Huskies to the National Championship. Aspiring coaches at all levels should read the book to learn from ‘The Master’ about leadership, commitment to success, organization, teamwork, player discipline, and how to get the most from players’ talent.” — Joe Steele, former Husky record-breaking tailback

A ‘Must-Read,’ Notes Legendary Seattle Sportswriter Steve Rudman 

“Former University of Washington coach Don James (1975-92) created a College Football Hall of Fame career in part because of his ability to recruit outstanding student-athletes and in part because of his extraordinary grasp of Xs and Os. But James’ true genius was his ability to inspire, teach and lead the hundreds of young men entrusted to his care,” notes legendary Seattle sportswriter Steve Rudman. “In The Thursday Speeches, author Pete Tormey, a former James student, offers a rare and illuminating glimpse into how the iconic James so successfully motivated his players and brought more out of them than even they ever imagined possible. Mr. Tormey received exclusive access to the exact words James used to mold nearly two generations of young men and build a dynastic college football program in the process. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the art of leadership, character building and the nature of success. Don James was a genius. Thanks to Mr. Tormey, here’s a chance to learn from a master.” – Steve Rudman

 Thank You Pete, Thank You Coach James!

“I always regretted not taking notes during Coach’s Thursday talks so I was excited to see this book and bought it immediately. It hasn’t disappointed. I love the book and the way you’ve shown how Coach James directed the team mindset to become the great program that it became. Pete you’ve done a great job. Coach James once told me his most important job during the season was to get the team ready to play on Saturday and his final 48-hour message set the mindset he wanted for game day. Thank you Pete and thank you Coach James!” – Rick Huegli, former strength and conditioning coach for UW football