Thanks for your interest in The Thursday Speeches: Lessons in Life, Leadership and Football from Coach Don James. This book, which has earned a rating of 4.7-stars (of 5) among Amazon readers, is available via Amazon.com as both a 6-by-9-inch paperback and KindleIt is also available as an audiobook on Audible.com, Amazon.com and iTunes.The book is also available at the University of Washington’s University Bookstore locations and in epub, mobi, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt and html formats at Smashwords.

The 1978 Rose Bowl team.

The UW 1978 Rose Bowl team, James’ first team to advance to the big game. 

The book features exclusive content: the best of Coach Don James’ pregame speeches to his teams over his legendary 18-year University of Washington career.  I was a three-year UW letterman linebacker for James (1976-1979), and was a part of James’ first team to advance to the Rose Bowl (1977-78); we beat the heavily favored Michigan Wolverines. 

Peter Tormey, author of "The Thursday Speeches."

Author Peter Tormey, Ph.D.

The book, "The Thursday Speeches: Lessons in Life, Leadership, and Football from Coach Don James."

The book, “The Thursday Speeches: Lessons in Life, Leadership, and Football from Coach Don James.”

Coach James made his pregame speeches available to me for my doctoral dissertation in Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, which I completed in 2007. James wrote the speeches before practice each Wednesday, by longhand, on 11-by-14-inch yellow legal pads. After making final edits on Thursday, James recited them – typically with fierce intensity – to his teams before a light practice on Thursday.

The speeches provide a rich record of the masterful ways that he transformed the UW football program from mediocrity into national champions. This book pulls back the curtain to put readers in the room and reveal the exact words James used to inspire the Huskies to slay the football giants of his day.

Packed with inspiring stories and invaluable life lessons, The Thursday Speeches offers new insights into James’ leadership and a perspective of James seen previously only by his coaches and players.

Experience Coach James’ Inspiration 

This offers life-changing lessons in life and leadership — far beyond the so-called Xs and Os of football. James compiled a record of 153-57-2 at Washington to become the most successful football coach in the history of UW and the Pacific-12 Conference. James, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer on Oct. 20, 2013 at age 80, exhibited a voracious appetite for reading and an expansive intellect. The book offers a wide range of stories James used to engage the Huskies, including goal-setting by Freud and Frankl; how the Cheshire Cat in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” related to the Huskies’ goals; the benefits of suffering; the importance of attitude; the keys to problem-solving; the true meaning of fun, and many others. He fashions speeches around figures including George Washington Carver, Benjamin Franklin, Julius Caesar, Helen Keller, Romano Banuelos, among many others.

What They’re Saying about The Thursday Speeches

The Thursday Speeches has drawn widespread acclaim, including this four-star review published recently from expert sports book critic Lance Smith, known as “The Guy Who Reviews Sports Books.” Read what others are saying about the book.

FREE: James’ Pyramid of Objectives and a Thursday Speech

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The Book’s Sections:

I: Getting to the Rose Bowl – chronicles James’ early struggles to change attitudes, and reveals the details behind his decision to move into his office in his first UW season (for the remainder of the season) after a crushing loss to Alabama.

II: Themes of “The Thursday Speeches” – excerpts from James’ Thursday speeches about the topics he addressed most often: Attitude, Life Lessons, Competitive Greatness, and Visualizing Victory.

III: Glimmers – Short essays on a variety of topics derived from interviews with Coach James, including “Learning from Legends,” the coaches who influenced James the most; “The Leader as Role Model,” “Coaches Are Teachers”; and “Leading from the Tower.”

IV: A Lasting Legacy – Comments from Coach Gary Pinkel, University of Missouri; Coach Nick Saban, University of Alabama; James’ pastor, Rev. Jerry Mitchell; James’ family members, and others.

A portion of the proceeds from book sales will go to the UW’s Don James Football Endowment Fund to provide scholarship assistance to student-athletes.

Click to Buy 


The print and Kindle book.

The audiobook is available now. Check out the author's page at http://www.audible.com/pd/Sports/The-Thursday-Speeches-Audiobook/B0187ZOIMK

The audiobook.