First man to dot Script Ohio #039;I#039; dead at 89

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 29, 2005

The Associated Press

COSHOCTON - John Brungart, the first person to ''dot the i'' in the Ohio State marching band's trademark Script Ohio, died Saturday. He was 89.

Doris Brungart said her husband died of pneumonia. The couple lived in Coshocton and John Brungart died at Coshocton County Memorial Hospital.

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The Ohio State band first performed its cursive spelling of the state at halftime of a 1936 football game against Indiana. Brungart played trumpet and was selected to ''dot the i,'' which entails breaking free from the single-file marching column from the top of the second ''o'' to supply a human dot atop the letter i.

''When we did it, everybody went nuts,'' Brungart once said in an interview with the Coshocton Tribune. ''We thought it was just another formation. It really became a tradition. It was something.''

Brungart performed the signature move four more times that season. In 1937, sousaphone players replaced trumpeters and continue to dot the i each Saturday at Ohio State home games.

After graduating from Ohio State in 1938 with a pharmacy degree, Brungart served in World War II before returning home to operate Brungart's Drug Store in Coshocton from 1949 to 1984.

He returned to his alma mater after graduation to play with the school's alumni band.