The extended Ohio State family is mourning the loss of one its own.
In a statement attributed to the four daughters of Earle Bruce, OSU confirmed Friday morning the passing of the former head football coach. The beloved coach had been battling Alzheimer’s for years prior to his death at age 87.
Below is the daughters’ statement, in its entirety:
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our father, Coach Earle Bruce, early this morning, Friday, April 20. He was a great man, a wonderful husband, father and grandfather, and a respected coach to many. Our family will miss him dearly, but we take solace in the belief that he is in a better place and reunited with his beloved wife, Jean. We thank you for your prayers and good wishes.
His loving daughters: Lynn, Michele, Aimee and Noel
Bruce played his college football with the Buckeyes, and embarked on his coaching career as an OSU student assistant under the legendary Woody Hayes in 1951. He returned to his alma mater as an assistant from 1966-71 and then again in 1979 as the head coach as he replaced Hayes, who was fired after his infamous sideline punch of a Clemson player in a 1978 bowl game.
In nine seasons as the head coach of the Buckeyes, Bruce compiled a record of 81-26-1. OSU won outright or claimed a share of the Big Ten title four times during Bruce’s tenure. They played in a pair of Rose Bowls under Bruce, part of eight bowl games they qualified for in his first eight seasons as head coach.
In 2002, Bruce, who was the head coach at Iowa State prior to coming to Columbus, was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.