The college football world in general and the coaching fraternity specifically has sadly lost a legend.
In a press release, Washington announced that former Huskies head coach Don James died Sunday morning. The school stated that James died from the effects of pancreatic cancer, for which he had recently been undergoing treatment.
James was 81 years old.
“My family and I are extremely saddened to hear of Coach James’ passing,” current UW head coach Steve Sarkisian said in a statement. “His accomplishments as a football coach stand alone, but what made him truly special is the quality of man he was away from the game. The guidance and leadership he instilled into this program and community are still felt today, and will continue to be felt here for a long, long time.”
James, who played his college football for the Miami Hurricanes, spent 18 seasons as the Huskies head coach (1975-1992), guiding UW to six conference titles and the 1991 national championship. He finished his Hall of Fame career — he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997 — with a record of 153-58-2 at UW.
Born in Massillon, Ohio, James’ influence goes beyond the immense impact he made at Washington. His coaching tree includes the likes of Nick Saban, Jim Mora (Jr. and Sr.), Gary Pinkel, Dom Capers and many, many others.
Prior to being named UW’s coach, he served as the head coach at Kent State from 1971-74. One of his players during that time was Saban, who has long credited James for sparking his interest in coaching.
It is not at all uncommon for children born in the state of Alabama to be named after Alabama football legends, but it is not every day you see a child of an Alabama coach receives a name inspired by former Alabama football players.
Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt announced the birth of his new son, Flynt Anderson-Foster Pruitt, on Twitter. Alabama fans will likely already know the connection to the new child’s name, as used the last names of two former Alabama football players to create the middle name of Anderson-Foster; Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.
Maybe this is more common than I’m aware of, but regardless of how often a coach names a child after former players, this is a testament to the relationship the Pruitt family established with both former Alabama linebackers. And now there will be a bond for years to come between the coach and his family and Anderson and Foster.
Helmet sticker to Al.com.
The Wisconsin Badgers are gearing up for their 100th season playing home football game sin Camp Randall Stadium. As part of the season-long celebration, Wisconsin put some brilliant artistic detail into their season tickets for the 2017 season.
Each ticket to a home Wisconsin game is designed like a retro-style program. These are beautifully done and mimic the style of a program cover from decades past. I’m particularly fond of the program cover for the Purdue game, which features Wisconsin’s Bucky floating in space with a ship with the Purdue logo nearby. Is that a space train? The Band Day program for the game against Florida Atlantic also looks fantastic.
These tickets will surely be must-have collectibles for Wisconsin fans. If Wisconsin wants to make a few extra bucks, then blowing up these images and selling them as posters may be a good decision as well. And I wouldn’t put it past Wisconsin to suit up in a retro-style uniform for at least home game this season in Madison.
Let this post serve as your annual reminder that Notre Dame, UCLA and USC remain the only FBS programs who have never played a game against or scheduled a game with a team from the FCS/Div. 1-AA.
In that vein, Stanford announced Wednesday that it has scheduled a 2018 game against UC Davis. That game will, of course, be played at the Cardinal’s football home, Stanford Stadium, on Sept. 15 of that year.
The two football programs have met three times previously, the last coming in 2014. The Cardinal holds a 2-1 advantage in the miniseries, with the lone loss coming back in 2005
In addition to the game against the FCS program, Stanford also has 2018 non-conference games scheduled with San Diego State, at home, and Notre Dame, in South Bend. Their Pac-12 schedule that season consists of home games against Oregon State, USC, Utah, and Washington State as well as road trips to Arizona State, California, Oregon, UCLA, and Washington.
Other future non-conference games, with the annual rivalry game versus Notre Dame a given, include Boston College, BYU, Kansas State, Northwestern, TCU and Vanderbilt.
Even as Tyler Campbell seemed determined to transfer from the Army football program, head coach Jeff Monken had held out hope that the starting slotback would reverse course and return to the service academy. In the end, that hope proved futile.
According to Sal Interdonato of HudsonValley.com, Campbell has followed through with his departure plans and has transferred to Elon. As the Phoenix play at the FCS level, Campbell will be eligible to play immediately in 2017.
A third-year junior, Campbell will have two seasons of eligibility at his disposal.
Last season, Campbell started 11 of the 13 games in which he played. He ran for 326 yards on 34 carries — his 9.6 yards per carry was tops on the Black Knights — while adding another 71 yards on a pair of receptions. He saved his best for last, rushing for a career-high 88 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown, in the Heart of Dallas Bowl win over North Texas.
While in the offensive backfield at Army, he’ll play in the defensive backfield at Elon as he’s currently listed as a cornerback for the Phoenix.