My name is Charles Mincy. I am a Husky. I played on the 1991 Husky Rose Bowl team and 9 years in the NFL after that. I mentioned the NFL not to brag about my own accomplishments, but to to make an important point. Of all the years I spent playing football, the most memorable and enjoyable were those I spent as a Husky. My years wearing the Purple and Gold were what I cherish the most as a football player. I will never forget running out on that field in 1989 on opening day against Texas A&M and feeling like I was living out a dream sequence from some fantasy football movie I had played over and over in my head as a child. The sights and sounds were incredible and like nothing I have ever experienced again. When I look back I always give myself a pat on the back for making the right and obvious decision to attend the University of Washington over the Univ. of Tennessee.
The team chemistry we had was a testament to our head coach, coaching staff and the commitment they made to recruiting in the late 1980’s. I have heard numerous stories about Coach James telling his staff that “We need to get faster…” and that there was a commitment to getting some speed on Husky teams after that. I am not so sure about the validity of the stories, but they make perfect sense. Around that time is when Orlando Mckay, Dana Hall and Beno Bryant were signed by the Huskies.
The Huskies were also able to get the biggest and best lineman from the state of Washington at that time. Steve Emtman, Jeff Pahukoa and Travis Richardson were among that group. The mixture of the best linemen from the state of Washington, the best skill players from Seattle, like Mario Bailey & Greg Lewis, and the best cast-offs from California that USC and UCLA didn’t want, like Darius Turner, Danianke Smith, Jaime Fields and myself made for a great mixture of talent and personalities that led to a mini-dynasty that made a great dent in the college football world.
Coach James was able to take chances on kids from seedy areas because he ran a program the was no-nonsense and had established himself as a figure not to be toyed with. If you came to our team and were not about the business of school and football you had to turn your act down or become a memory. The rumors of Coach James were swirling around as soon as you stepped on campus. Everyone referred to him as “DJ”, except to his face. “DJ” was a feared figure like Kaiser Söze. The graveyard of ex-Huskies past was real. There was one leader and one expectation. If you were going to bring your act to our team it better be in a role that was written by him, otherwise you would have to take your script and bounce.
The job that that staff did recruiting was incredible. I remember getting acquainted with some of the players during our summer time in the weight room with coach Huegli and feeling like I may not be physically gifted enough to play there. We had kids that could run and jump like Olympic Athletes. Our 4x4 400 meter relay team almost won the NCAA championship. Three of them were football players, the other played guard on the basketball team. I also remember looking around the huddle at practice and being uber confident because of the people I had around me. That was the greatest feeling ever.
…To be continued.