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The Man Behind the Swoosh is Stepping Down

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One of Nike's co-founders is stepping down as a chairman.

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Knight, University of Oregon class of 1959 (where he received his degree in journalism, oddly enough), is stepping down from being a chairman at Nike.

According to ABC News, Knight wants his successor to be the current President and CEO of the company, Mark Parker. Although there has been no set timetable for his final departure from being chairman, Knight has stated that he does still plan to be involved with the company that he started back in 1964. Nike has plans to name a new chairman by 2016.

Started back on January 25th, 1964, Knight and co-founder Bill Bowerman made a deal, each putting in $500 to start the company (If only I had a time machine to go back and get in on this...along  with Google...and what the hell, Apple too). The two started the then-called Blue Ribbon Sports company by selling shoes from the back of their car in the Pacific Northwest. They decided to change the name in 1978 to the now world famous name of Nike, the name of a Greek mythology goddess. He eventually paid Carolyn Davidson $35 in 1971 to the rights for the trademark Swoosh. They were able to build their brand through many advertising campaigns, but most notably signing big name athletes (Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods).

Although this technically has nothing to do with Oregon sports in general, Nike does a lot for the alma mater of Knight with the many different designs of jerseys (some good, some not so good). Knight is a titan in the shoe industry, and really a titan in college basketball as he helped change the way it is (recruiting, most notably). He is a great alumnus for Oregon fans to hang their hat on and say "He's our guy.".