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‘The Thursday Speeches’ Now Available as Audiobook

The audiobook is available now. Check out the author's page at

The audiobook is now available.

Great news everyone! The Thursday Speeches: Lessons in Life, Leadership, and Football from Coach Don James is now available as an audiobook on, and iTunes.

The audiobook is narrated by Chris Brinkley, an experienced radio personality, emcee, voiceover artist, and NCAA Division I broadcaster. He also co-produced, wrote, and hosted two nationally syndicated radio shows heard on stations nationwide.

Experienced broadcaster, radio personality, emcee, and voiceover artist Chris Brinkley narrates Peter Tormey's book "The Thursday Speeches: Lessons in Life, Leadership, and Football from Coach Don James."

Experienced broadcaster, radio personality, emcee, and voiceover artist Chris Brinkley narrates Peter Tormey’s book “The Thursday Speeches: Lessons in Life, Leadership, and Football from Coach Don James.”

As a current basketball and football play-by-play announcer, he delivers enthusiasm and excitement. As the voice of several documentaries seen on the History Channel and PBS, he brings a trustworthiness and credibility to his delivery that captures the essence of the filmmaker’s vision.

Author Peter Tormey said he is pleased with the audiobook and believes it will be a big hit with the public.

“Chris Brinkley is a very talented person with a superb voice that helps bring this book alive,” Tormey said. “I think this book lends itself beautifully to audio and think people will love listening to the incredible inspiration of Don James whenever they choose.

Tormey thanks all the readers who have offered reviews of the book and encourages readers and listeners to submit reviews for the print, Kindle and audio versions of the book.

This book, which has earned a rating of 4.5-stars (of 5) among Amazon readers, 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). I was fortunate enough to be a part of James’ first team to advance to the Rose Bowl (1977-78); we beat the heavily favored Michigan Wolverines. 

The 6-by-9-inch paperback and Kindle are available via The book is also available at the University of Washington’s University Bookstore locations (Seattle, Bothell and Bellevue, Washington), and at Auntie’s Bookstore in Spokane, Washington. In addition, the book is available in epub, mobi, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt and html formats at Smashwords. Bookstores and book-sellers wishing to order the book should contact author Peter Tormey via email for special arrangements. 

Dawg Days in the Desert Event with Carol James Benefits UW Scholarships


 (from left) Peter Tormey, Carol James, and Ed Taylor.

The panel discussion included (from left) Peter Tormey, Carol James, and UW Vice Provost and Dean Ed Taylor.

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – It was a pleasure and distinct honor to participate in a panel discussion with Carol James, wife of the late and legendary University of Washington football Coach Don James, and Dr. Ed Taylor, UW Vice Provost and Dean, at the 10th annual Dawg Days in the Desert Scholarship Luncheon here March 16.

Carol James kept the audience spellbound.

Carol James kept the audience spellbound with her insights and remembrances.

I was honored to participate in this event to raise money for UW student scholarships. Especially poignant, for me, was the opportunity to hear some of Carol James’ stories. I appreciated the opportunity to share a few gems from my recently published book about Coach James’ leadership titled, The Thursday Speeches: Lessons in Life, Leadership, and Football from Coach Don James.

The author, Peter Tormey, using my hands to make a point.

The author makes a point.

Coach James had such a powerfully positive influence on countless lives, especially those of us who were fortunate enough to play for him. I played for Coach James for four years from 1976, as part of his second recruiting class, through 1979. Our teams beat Michigan in the 1978 Rose Bowl and Texas in the 1979 Sun Bowl

Interim President Ana Mari Cauce and Interim Provost Jerry Baldasty also took part in the scholarship luncheon held March 16 at the beautiful Desert Island Golf & Country Club. The luncheon is part of the UW’s annual Dawg Days in the Desert three-day gathering for alumni, friends and university leaders. Dr. Taylor, who is active in the area of academic success for UW student-athletes, masterfully moderated the panel discussion. Copies of the The Thursday Speeches were donated to sell at the luncheon to benefit UW scholarships. Carol James and I signed the books and we sold every one.

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.”

The Dawg Days festivities culminated with the Chow Down to Washington dinner, now in its 26th year. This year’s dinner – held March 18 at UW alumnus Jim Houston’s estate in Palm Springs – was attended by more than 350 UW alumni, friends, and university dignitaries. The dinner presentation, emceed by UW alumnus and KOMO TV Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Steve Poole, featured stirring talks by Interim President Cauce and Husky football Coach Chris Peterson.

Special thanks to Kay deMars and Kay Larson, co-chairs of the Desert Scholarship Luncheon for their infinitely gracious hospitality, attention to every detail, and hard work. Also many thanks to Paul Rucker, UW Associate Vice President for Alumni and Constituent Relations, UW Senior Director of Advancement Tomitha Blake, and the many other people involved in making this such a first-rate event.

Coach James, the most-winning football coach in the history of the UW and the Pacific-12 Conference, who exemplified class in everything he did, would have thoroughly approved.



The 1978 Rose Bowl team.

The 1978 Rose Bowl team.

Two days before Christmas 1974, Don James seized the reins of a University of Washington football program in disarray.  He immediately set a goal of going to the Rose Bowl. This objective catalyzed the Huskies to reach the 1978 Rose Bowl, in James’ third season, and beat the heavily favored Michigan Wolverines. Had it not been for this team, James said, everything he subsequently achieved at Washington might never have happened as he was in the third year of a four-year contract.

The 1978 Rose Bowl changed everything for James and the Huskies — guaranteeing him and his staff the time to develop what would become one of the most successful college football programs in the nation.

Most Successful Footbal Coach in UW, Pac-12 History

In his 18 years at Washington, James compiled a 153-57-2 record en route to becoming the most successful football coach in Washington history.  His 99 Pacific-10 victories are the most in league history.  James took his teams to 15 bowl games (10-5) including nine straight from 1979-87.  He guided the Huskies to six Rose Bowls and is one of only four coaches to win four Rose Bowl games. His 1991 team finished the season 12-0, beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl, and was named National Champion by USA Today/CNN, UPI, the Football Writers, Sports Illustrated and several computer rankings.

Coach James with the National Championship trophy.

Coach James with the National Championship trophy.

President of the American Football Coaches Association in 1989, James was National College Coach of the Year twice. Inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame in 1993, James entered the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997. As but one measure of his coaching skill, Sports Illustrated once named the three best colleges football coaches in the country: No. 1, Don James; No. 2, Don James; No. 3, Don James.

As a player in James’ second recruiting class at Washington, I was fortunate to have been part of what James would later describe as “the cornerstone” of his program.  In summer training camp before my freshman season, Coach James told us we were there to fulfill our destiny, to become Rose Bowl champions. We believed him, worked very hard, and it came to pass.

Under James’ leadership, our teams beat Michigan in the 1978 Rose Bowl, Texas in the 1979 Sun Bowl and helped establish Washington as a perennial powerhouse for nearly two decades. With James as our coach, we knew we had a chance to beat any team, any day.

James’ Legacy, Wisdom Live On

Although Coach James died of pancreatic cancer on Oct. 20, 2013 at age 80, his legacy and wisdom live on through the countless lives he touched and changed.

He lived his life based on strong values, faith and an unmatched work ethic he learned as a child growing up in Massillon, Ohio during the Great Depression – one of four sons of Florence and Thomas James.  Don’s father held two jobs to ensure the James boys could go to college.  For his part, Don began carrying bricks for pay at age 9 – in the summer for his uncle’s construction company – and became determined to go to college. Education, he knew, was one key to his future; the other was hard work.

He played quarterback and defensive back for two state championship teams at Massillon High, idolized his coaches, and decided then and there to become a football coach. He went on to play quarterback at the University of Miami where he set five school passing records and married the love of his life, Carol Hoobler.

At Washington, Coach James used words and stories to motivate the Huskies to slay the football giants of his day. My 6-by-9-inch paperback book, “THE THURSDAY SPEECHES: Lessons in Life, Leadership, and Football from Coach Don James,” is now available. The book, also available as a Kindle version, will put you in the seat of the Huskies — an insider’s view of the exact words James used to inspire the Huskies to the pinnacle of American college football.

“THE THURSDAY SPEECHES” contains valuable advice for everyone living in our competitive world, especially coaches, athletes, and leaders in all fields of endeavor.