Two days before Christmas 1974, Don James seized the reins of a University of Washington football program in disarray. Immediately, James challenged players to do the hard work necessary to get to the Rose Bowl. Some players laughed, reminding James that Washington hadn't been to the Rose Bowl since 1963. James insisted on his vision. In his third season, Washington advanced to the Rose Bowl and beat the heavily favored Michigan Wolverines. In 18 years at Washington, James' compelling stories in his pregame speeches helped transform the Huskies from mediocrity to national champions. A member of the College Football Hall of Fame and twice named National Coach of the Year, James remains the most successful football coach in Washington and the Pacific-12 Conference history. Now, the inspiring stories and invaluable life lessons James imparted to his players are available to all in The Thursday Speeches.