Miami University in Ohio Trademarks ‘Cradle of Coaches’ Phrase

By Joseph Mandour on March 20, 2012

whistle-thumb-200x132-38117 San Diego – A phrase long known to the students and fans of Miami University in Ohio to describe its athletic program has now been registered as a trademark. The “Cradle of Coaches” phrase is now being recognized by the United States Patent and Trademark Office as an official trademark, with the University having exclusive rights to it.

Bob Kurz, former Miami Sports Information Director, recalled in his 2002 book titled “Miami of Ohio, The Cradle of Coaches,” how he first developed the phrase fifty-three years ago.

“Driving back to Oxford (Ohio) one Saturday night in late October (1959), the car radio was tuned to a station picking up a game from Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. LSU, coached by Paul Dietzel who was a 1948 Miami graduate, was pitted against Mississippi State as I recall. The ear-splitting noise cascading down from the stands made it hard to hear the play by play. It was college football in the South, and I think I was hearing it and feeling it for the first time. It gave me an idea.”

“The next morning after church, I went to the office. That was my usual Sunday morning ritual. Perusing the Sunday papers, I jotted down the record of the Miami alumni in the college and professional ranks. Red Blaik, Miami ’18, the legendary Army Coach; Weeb Ewbank, Miami ’28, Baltimore Colts; Paul Brown, Miami ’30, Cleveland Browns; the aforementioned Dietzel; Ara Parsehgian, Dietzel’s teammate and classmate, and finally John Pont, Miami ’52, and current Miami coach. I threw in Sid Gillman, the Miami coach of Dietzel, Parseghian and Pont, from the NFL.”

“Here it was, more than halfway through the season, and these Miami coaches had yet to lose ten games combined. There’s a story there, I said to myself, as I put a blank sheet of paper in the typewriter. And on the blank sheet of paper, citing this amazing phenomenon, I called Miami the Cradle of Coaches.”

In 2004, Kurz and his wife presented the University with a generous monetary gift to build The Cradle of Coaches Plaza. This fall, a statue honoring former coach Paul Brown will be added to the already-erected statues of coaches Blaik, Ewbank, Dietzel, Parsehgian, Pont, and others.

Now that the school owns the nationwide rights to control the trademark, it may pursue licensing opportunities and will of course police the trademark in the event it is infringed.

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