A Football Band of Brothers

A book entitled "A Football Band of Brothers" has been authored by W. Thomas Porter and published by Trafford Publishing. The book can be purchased from Amazon.com, the Husky Team Shop, and the University Book Store. It is the catalyst for the recognition of Washington's 1960 national championship team at half-time of the USC game September 29.

To order a personally inscribed copy for yourself, a family member, or your favorite Husky fan, please contact Porter, at BoB.Football@hotmail.com.

The book is dedicated by Porter to "the coaches and players whose performance permanently affixed the 1959 and 1960 teams at the top level of Washington's football history and whose commitment, team unity and resolve forged the Huskies' first football national championship." It provides a unique perspective of head coach Jim Owens and the UW players, coaches and staff during a difficult transitional period in Washington football history.
About the author:
Tom Porter's love of games began on the playfields of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and continued on the ballparks and basketball courts of New York City where he went to high school. He continued his playing at Rutgers University where he majored in English. He earned three freshmen numerals and six varsity letters. He was selected to the All-East and All-American teams in baseball in his junior year and was voted Rutgers most outstanding athlete in his senior year.

He has continued his love of sport and the outdoors with various climbing and hiking ventures, kayaking and river running, marathon running and triathlons, and pole vaulting and decathlon events in the US masters track and field program. He was a nationally ranked pole vaulter and decathlete into his sixties.

Tom received his BA from Rutgers University, his MBA from the University of Washington and his Ph.D. from Columbia University.

After serving as an airborne and infantry company officer in the US Army, he enjoyed three careers. He was a professor of management planning and control systems at the University of Washington. He also was a visiting professor at the North European Management Institute in Oslo, Norway and the College of Management at the National University of Ireland in Galway.

He was a partner of Touche Ross & Co., an international accounting and consulting firm with several national responsibilities including the firm's National Director for Professional Development, National Director of Planning, National Director of Executive Financial Planning.

His third career was in banking. He was Vice Chairman at Rainier Bank and Security Pacific Northwest and Executive Vice President at Seafirst and then Bank of America where he was responsible for the investment banking, investment management, retail investment, and financial planning services. He was a member of Bank of America's Northwest Executive Committee. He retired from Bank of America in 1999 and is now Chair of Porter Investments, Inc.

He has authored ten books on management planning and control and financial planning. His most recent books are The Glory of Washington: The People and Events that Shaped the Husky Athletic Tradition and Husky Stadium: Great Games and Golden Moments and A Football Band of Brothers: Forging the University of Washington's First National Championship.

He has served on the board of directors of AEI Music, Bite Golf Shoes, Inc., Coldstream Capital Management, Flexcar and Shurgard Storage Centers, Inc

He has been active in community activities and has chaired the boards of the Lakeside School, Virginia Mason Foundation, the Dale Turner Foundation, the Ryther Child Center, the Salvation Army and served on the boards of EconomicsAmerica, the Olympic Park Institute, the University of Washington Tyee Board and the Advisory Board of the Economics Department.

He was chair of the University of Washington's $54 million Capital Campaign for the Student Athlete which provided funds to renovate Hec Edmundson Pavilion and build the Dempsey Indoor. For his community activities, he has received the Salvation Army's highest layperson award -- the Others Award, the Washington Society of CPA's Humanitarian Award, the Volunteer of the Year Award from the National Association of College Athletic Directors, the Deloitte & Touche Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award, and the Frank Orrico Award for his many contributions to Washington's Athletic Department. He is listed in Who's Who in America.

He is married to Dixie Jo. They have three children and five grandchildren.
The Introduction:

Included below is Porter's introduction to the book.

Almost fifty years ago, a group of student-athletes entered the University of Washington. As freshmen, they were not eligible to play varsity football so they began their collegiate football on a team that went unbeaten against Northwest opponents.

College football was very different then. There was no Sports Center, no Bowl Coalition Series, no 24-hour sports talk shows. An athlete did not leave a university before he graduated thereby using the university as a farm system for his athletic objectives. There was little or no trash talking. There was no chest thumping, high five's, or end zone celebrations when an athlete made a sack, a touchdown, or some other significant play. Most coaches cared about the academic success of their players, recognizing that very few of them would be successful professional athletes.

There were about 50 players on a team, most playing offense and defense. Some had to work part-time to finance their education. The single ones lived with other students in dormitories and fraternity houses. Some were married and had children.

In 1955, Washington had been rocked by a player revolt which led to the firing of the head football coach who went public about a slush fund used by zealous boosters to directly pay players more than the Pacific Coast Conference allowed. The Husky athletic program was put on probation for two years along with Cal, UCLA, and USC.

It was a difficult period for a once proud and successful program. Thirty-one year old George Briggs was hired as Athletic Director to clean up the mess and hire a new coach. Darrell Royal, an All-American quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners and the head coach at Mississippi State, accepted a four-year contract in 1956 and put the Husky football program on the road to recovery.

However, after the season ended, Royal resigned to take his dream job at the University of Texas where he forged a very successful career which included three national championships.

Briggs then hired 29-year old Jim Owens, a teammate of Royal and an All-America end. He had been a top assistant under Bear Bryant at Kentucky and Texas A&M. He was one of the architects of the "Junction Boys" ten days in hell that helped build the Aggies into a conference champion three years later.

Owens and his staff brought a philosophy that included an emphasis on team unity, defense, tough physical and mental conditioning. The use of the helmet to tackle and block and punish opponents and the willingness to pay the price for success were also primary elements of their approach.

I first saw a Husky team coached by Owens in 1958 when I was an MBA student at Washington. They lost to California 12-7 on November 15 nearing the end of a 3-7 season. The Bears, led by quarterback Joe Kapp, won the Pacific Coast Conference title. It was the last season of the conference which was founded in 1916. Cal lost to Iowa in the 1959 Rose Bowl, 38-12. It was the twelfth loss by a PCC team in the 13-year old pact between the Big Ten Conference and the PCC. Clearly, the fortunes of West Coast football were at a low point.

Many of the fans in Husky Stadium that day watched a mostly sophomore team -- the youngest in the United States -- play the Bears to almost a standoff. Kapp was prophetic in his post-game remarks. "I can't understand how Washington ever loses. They hit as hard as any team we've played. And they're all young guys. In another year, that bunch is going to be hard to beat."

He was right. Over the next two years, the Huskies forged the second best record of a collegiate football team in America -- 20 wins and two losses. With 20 victories, one tie, and one loss, only Mississippi had a better resume. In 1959, the Huskies won the conference title, the first for Washington since 1936, and upset Wisconsin in the 1960 Rose Bowl 44-8. It was Washington's first Rose Bowl victory -- the Huskies had played in Pasadena four times before -- and brought respectability back to West Coast football.

In the 1960 season, despite injuries to many key players including 1959 All-America quarterback and Heisman hopeful, Bob Schloredt, the then senior-laden team again went 9-1. They had several fourth quarter come-from-behind wins. They won four games by the combined margin of five points and became known as the "Cardiac Kids." With another Conference championship, they faced Minnesota, the Associated Press' selection as the number one team in the country, in the 1961 Rose Bowl.

In those days, most of the polls completed their final rankings before the bowl games were played. The Huskies beat the Gophers 17-7. The Husky coaches and players believed that the Rose Bowl was a championship bout and when you win a championship match, you get the title. Two polls -- the Helms Foundation Poll founded in 1936 and the Football Writers Association of America Poll started in 1954 -- announced their final rankings after the bowl games were completed. The FWAA selected Mississippi (10-0-1) as its national champion and the Helms Foundation selected Washington (10-1).

Jim Owens and his Husky band of brothers had gone from ashes to roses and a national championship and had, in the opinion of veteran football announcer, Keith Jackson, picked up the entire state and region and revitalized it.

I wrote this book because it is a compelling story. The coaches and players really believed in the importance of team work. They believed that it took a whole team to get the job done. They believed that everybody was in the battle together. Since all of them played both ways, there was no offensive team, no defensive team, no special team. They could come together much more easily with only 50 players on the team. The coaches recruited players with integrity and character who didn't expect extra or different treatment. Nobody expected anything but hard work. They made it through grueling practices, challenge drills, and punishing conditioning exercises because of an intense determination and commitment to the goals of the coaches and to each other. The result of their shared experience, both on the practice field and in games with tough opponents, was a closeness unknown to outsiders.

They knew each other's background, where they came from, and what their capabilities were. They became a band of brothers ready to give up part of their individualism and quest for personal glory for the good of the team. They were committed to do whatever it took to win battles on the football field. Their success didn't lay so much in having the best talent. The difference was their resolve.

My other reason for writing this book is that I believe that many Husky fans today remember only the great success of the Don James era. But even James understands that the 1959 and 1960 teams laid the foundation for Husky football. They were the ones who turned Husky football around. When you talk about the Husky tradition -- endurance, passion, pride, tenacity, and toughness -- it all started in the late 1950's. Their 20-2 record over a two-year span ranks at the very top level of Husky football.

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