“Row the Boat” will soon row its way from Kalamazoo to Minneapolis.
According to a report from Madison Bennett of MLive, Western Michigan will soon transfer the “Row the Boat” trademark over to its former head coach P.J. Fleck.
“It’s just a matter of negotiating the terms of the release of that intellectual property,” WMU trustee William Johnston told MLive.
Fleck introduced the phrase at his introductory press conference in December of 2012 and turned it into a program mantra. The phrase joined national consciousness this season as Fleck guided the Broncos to an undefeated regular season, a MAC championship and an appearance in the Cotton Bowl. That success led him to take the head job at Minnesota earlier this month.
Fleck has stated the phrase has personal meaning to him, first spawning after he and his first wife Tracie lost infant son Colt to a heart condition.
“It comes from a very personal, personal tragedy in my life and that’s where ‘Row the Boat’ came from,” Fleck told ESPN earlier this month. “So, I really hope they do see that, and [that] they are willing to allow me to take that, but we’ll see as we move forward. I’m not sure what they’re going to do with it, but I really hope because of what it means, that I have the ability to at least purchase it, take it with me, and continue to change other people’s lives through tragedy, through adversity, in just a different area.”