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Originally published October 21, 2013 at 4:11 PM | Page modified October 21, 2013 at 8:55 PM

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Memorial service for Don James will be Sunday at Alaska Airlines Arena

The Huskies will honor Don James at their homecoming game Saturday against California. A memorial service is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday at Alaska Airlines Arena.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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The University of Washington will hold a memorial service for Don James at 3 p.m. Sunday at Alaska Airlines Arena. The service is open to the public.

As a tribute to its legendary coach, the UW football program will honor James with “DJ” decals on players’ helmets for the remainder of the season. Washington coaches also will wear “DJ” patches.

James died Sunday at the age of 80 from the effects of pancreatic cancer. He has more victories than any other football coach in Huskies history, and UW has planned several remembrances for the game Saturday against California.

Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. for the homecoming game.

Members of the James family will serve as honorary captains for the pregame coin toss, and the Husky Marching Band will perform “A Tribute to The Dawgfather” at halftime.

A memorial video also will be shown during halftime at Husky Stadium.

“I think it is fitting that this week is homecoming and we have an amazing opportunity to celebrate Coach James in a very tasteful manner,” UW coach Steve Sarkisian said Monday.

Sarkisian said he has a photo in his office of himself shaking hands with James on the field at the 2010 Holiday Bowl, not long before kickoff. He said he looks at the photo often and is reminded of the presence James had.

“He just had a unique, quiet confidence about him that I’m sure his players and coaches felt from him,” Sarkisian said. “He had an aura of, ‘We’re going to go win and we’re going to play really well.’ And I felt it then from him. … It really resonated with me, the impact that you can have. It’s not always about the words that you say, but it’s truly who you are and what you represent, and I’ve tried to really carry that with me.”

Adam Jude: 206-464-2364 or

On Twitter: @a_jude

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