Former Ohio State football coach Earle Bruce dies at 87

Former Ohio State football coach Earle Bruce dotted the i with the Ohio State Marching Band in 2016. Bruce died Friday at the age of 87

Former Ohio State football coach Earle Bruce dotted the i with the Ohio State Marching Band in 2016. Bruce died Friday at the age of 87

A native of Cumberland, Md., Bruce was recruited to play at Ohio State but a knee injury kept him from playing for the varsity squad. After nine years there, he was sacked and surprised many by taking the job at the University of Northern Iowa. In two seasons, Bruce went 20-0.

Earle Bruce was still swinging by Ohio State practices this spring to chat with Urban Meyer.

He won four Big Ten titles over his nine seasons (two outright, and two shared), and had a 5-3 record in bowl games with Ohio State. Bruce was on the 1968 staff that also Lou Holtz, Bill Mallory, Lou McCullough and George Chaump.




After six years on Hayes' staff, Bruce became a head coach. We thank you for your prayers and good wishes. In his final game as a Buckeye, he defeated That Team Up North in the Big House in Ann Arbor. He finished his college head coaching career with stints at Northern Iowa (1988) and Colorado State (1989-92) before some coaching stops in Arena Football. He worked for years as a radio analyst and was well known for saying how he "bled scarlet and gray".

Ohio State will mourn his loss, and it is going to weigh heavy on every life he touched during his career - and after it in his second life ranting in the press box.

His daughters confirmed the death in a combined statement Friday, noting that they would "miss him dearly", but took solace in the belief that "he is in a better place and reunited with his beloved wife".

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