[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]I had so much fun writing this post that I decided to read it aloud to you. Click above to listen or just read on![/box]

I never won an NCAA title and now I think I know why: My name is just too easy. Jim Burson. That’s B-U-R-S-O-N. Way too simple, only two syllables, easy to say and easy to spell.

How about the two coaches who won this year’s NCAA finals? Mike Krzyzewski from Duke and the women’s champion, Geno Auriemma from the University of Connecticut.

Here’s the challenge: Ask ten people to pronounce and spell both names correctly. If you find one, recommend them as an early admit to Muskingum University! During my career there as a professor and head coach, I always told people that if they can spell Muskingum correctly, we’d let them in.

Well, back to those national champion coaches.

Mike Krzyzewski at www.jimburson.com blog post - Want to Win an NCAA Title? Change Your Name!Coach Mike Krzyzewski

How’s this: Crew-zoos-key might be how you’d spell it phonetically. But how does that relate to the actual pronunciation: Sha-shesh-key? How does that relate to my 4-3-3 spelling attempt: Krzy (4 letters) -zew (3 letters) -ski (3 letters)? Use this spelling tip if you need to: ‘z’ before and after ‘y’.

OK, your assignment is to say and write it twenty times a week so that you spell and say it correctly when I see you next.

Congratulations, Coach K, on your 5th national championship, your coaching record and tremendous career.

Geno Auriemma at www.jimburson.com blog post - Want to Win an NCAA Title? Change Your Name!Coach Geno Auriemma

I’ll take his first name, Geno. I’ll let you figure out how to spell Auriemma! Well, OK, I’ll help you. It has four syllables and that makes it tough right away. Phonetically, it is a monster: Ah-you-reem-ma or Or-ree-m-ma. Either way, spelling it correctly based on pronunciation is a killer! Repeat after me: Ow-ree-em-ma. Try it again: Ow-ree-em-ma. After all that, I’m still not sure how to pronounce it!

Again, your assignment is to say and write it twenty times a day for a week and repeat as needed.

Coach Auriemma is ten for ten in the NCAA final games. Wow! If you say it backwards, it’s “woW!”

This has been a great season. Congrats to everybody involved in the great game. How does Jim Buyrsonarieminski sound? I’ll try anything to have a shot at an NCAA title!

How about you? Send me your name change.

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Photo of Coach Krzyzewski: © Duke University, Duke Photography
Photo of Coach Auriemma: © University of Connecticut, Stephen Slade