Don James was born December 31, 1932 in the football hotbed of Massillon, Ohio. There he played quarterback and defensive back for two state championship teams at Washington High School. He then accepted a scholarship to Miami of Florida where he set five school passing records. James was then commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the US Army where he served two years before resuming his studies at the University of Kansas and doubling as the Jayhawks' freshman football coach. He graduated in 1957 with a master's degree in education. He moved back to Miami where he was head football coach at Southwest Miami High School for two years. He then turned to the college ranks and served as an assistant coach at Florida State (1956- 65), Michigan (1966-67) and Colorado (1968-70). In 1971, James was named head coach at Kent State where he stayed four years compiling a 25-19-1 record, and took Kent State to its first-ever bowl game. Two days before Christmas in 1974, James accepted the head coaching position at Washington. In his 18 years at Washington, James compiled a 153-57-2 record making him the winningest football coach in Washington history. His 99 Pac-10 victories are the most in Pac-10 history. He took his teams to 15 bowl games (10-5) including a Pac-10 record 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 and won Washington's first ever national championship. When James retired he had the 10th best active winning percentage, the eighth most victories among active coaches, fourth most bowl victories, fourth best bowl winning percentage and the 12th most bowl appearances. James was president of the American Football Coaches Association in 1989 and was named national college coach of the year in 1984 and 1991. James was inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame in 1993 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997.