THE A-GAME: AHS changes logo from Arizona-style A

Published 1:25 am Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Andalusia High School officially has a new logo, thanks in part to the generous spirit of some “honorary Southerners” in Ohio.

AHS athletic director and head football coach Trent Taylor unveiled the new “A” at Monday night’s board of education meeting, using a helmet from the Heritage room and his own letterman’s sweater as props.

Coach Trent Taylor unveils the new Andalusia logo, slightly modified from the Arizona Triple A the Bulldogs have been using since 2015. The cardinal A is now a block-style A with a “cap.”

“As you know, Dec. of 2014, when I was hired at Andalusia High School, one of the first things Mr. Watson and I talked about was developing a distinguishable logo,” Taylor said. “If you see ‘TRM,’ you immediately know what that represents.

“He kinda charged me with, ‘Let’s find our brand; our logo.”

Taylor said he chose the Arizona logo, known as the Triple A.

“We thought it was fitting for Andalusia,” he said. “We start with an A, end with an A, and we’ve got an A in the middle.”

Taylor said he remembers Andalusia using a block “A” logo from his childhood, and showed photographs of 1960s and 70s teams around that A on the gym floor.

“Coach Sharp came here in ’74,” he said. “The next year in ’75, we had the block A on our helmets. Then in ’76, they added the white around it.

“In ’77, he came in there with this ugly Bulldog,” Taylor recalled. “We absolutely hated it, but we knew better than to tell Coach Sharp that we hated it.”

So Taylor said he initially chose the Arizona Triple A.

“I thought if we changed the colors to cardinal and black and white, and put ‘Dogs in the leg of the A, we’d be fine.

“I was wrong,” he said.

Several months ago, AHS received a “cease and desist” letter about the use of the Arizona logo.

“Of course, you can look all over the state and see high school teams using college logos,” he said. “Friday night in Thomasville? Right there in the middle of the field was Tennessee’s T.”

Taylor said after the school received the letter, he drew up a proposed change to the logo – altering the interior A to a block letter.

His wife, Patty Taylor, researched the logo, and found that Alder High School had done the exact same thing with their logo after Arizona called them on the carpet for using the triple A.

Superintendent Ted Watson had a conversation with the superintendent of Alder, which is located in Plain City, Ohio.

Watson said when the school first received the cease and desist letter, he checked with a trademark attorney, who agreed there might be a problem with Andalusia’s use of the triple A.

He reached out to school officials at J.A. Alder HGih School.

“Their colors are exactly like ours,” Watson said. “They got the same cease and desist order, and were in the process of clearing that up when we reached out to them.”

Alder had taken steps to trademark the A they developed, but had not completed the process.

“They agreed that it would be OK for us to use it, and their board approved a memorandum of understanding,” Watson said. “They had been in the same boat we had. They were honored. I took the liberty of saying they made our day, and gave them complimentary Southern status.

“I told them if they stopped in town, Dr. (David) McCalman would buy their lunch,” he said.

Watson said the new A is close enough to the Arizona Triple A that only subtle changes will have to be made where the logo is used on campus.

“That was a lot of good will between two schools thousands of miles apart,” Watson said. “We’ll never see each other, probably, but they were good to work with us.”

Watson said the “cease and desist” is between the school system and the University of Arizona, not between the University and local businesses.

The board adopted the new logo, and approved the memorandum of understanding with Alder High School.