Legendary UW coach Don James honored at Huskies game

Legendary UW coach Don James honored at Huskies game

SEATTLE - The University of Washington will honor the legacy of Huskies football coach Don James at the Saturday night homecoming game against California at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Coach James, 80, died at home last Sunday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. James had two surgical procedures in September  for what was called a gastro-intestinal issue, and was enduring chemotherapy treatment for a malignant tumor on his pancreas before he passed.

Family members will serve as honorary captains for the pregame coin toss Saturday, and the Washington band will perform a "Tribute to the Dawgfather" at halftime. Additionally, Huskies players will wear honorary "DJ" helmet decals, and coaches and staff will wear similar patches for the remainder of the season.

Washington Huskies head football coach Steve Sarkisian faces a must-win Pac-12 game Saturday night when his team hosts the Cal Bears at Husky Stadium (8 p.m. PDT, Fox Sports 1).

In a show of support, Cal football announced via Twitter that the Bears would also wear the helmet decals Saturday night.

Thoughts have been pouring out on social media from former players, fellow coaches and fans who watched the Huskies program rise under James' leadership. James remained connected to the Huskies' program, and was a regular visitor at practices after his resignation and served on the committee that helped in the redesign of Husky Stadium.

James was 178-76-3 as a head coach at Kent State and Washington, counting three forfeit victories with the Huskies. After going 25-19-1 in four seasons at Kent State, he was 153-57-2 at Washington from 1975-92 and led the school to a six-pack of Rose Bowl appearances.

His crowning moment came in 1991 when Washington had the most dominant defense in the country, and beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl to finish 12-0. The Associated Press media poll gave Miami - James' alma mater - the national championship, while the coaches' voted in favor of Washington in their poll.

A public memorial service for Don James will be held at the Alaska Airlines Arena, Sunday at 3 p.m.