Former Ohio State football coach Earle Bruce dies at age 87

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From 1979-87, Bruce coached at Ohio State and won the Big Ten Conference four times.

In nine seasons with Ohio State, Bruce racked up 81 wins and never posted a losing season. They did everything with class.

Bruce died in Columbus at the age of 87, according to a statement released by his daughters through Ohio State on Friday.

Hayes was a larger-than-life figure who molded Ohio State into a national champion.

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A Buckeye to the core who arrived on campus in 1951 as a running back and also served as an assistant to Hayes from 1966-71, Bruce put his own stamp on the Ohio State program.

It's a sad day with the news of former Ohio State football coach Earle Bruce passing early this morning after a long battle with Alzheimer's. 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.

A former OSU player whose career was cut short by a knee injury, Mr. Bruce compiled a 154-90-2 record with seven bowl triumphs in 21 seasons as a collegiate head coach. Earlier, Bruce had worked on an Ohio State staff that included Bo Schembechler, who would become the head coach at MI and serve as a nemesis for both Hayes and Bruce. "A football loss? That's awful. We thank you for your prayers and good wishes".

He left again to pursue a college head coaching career but was called home to replace Hayes after leading Iowa State for six seasons, the last two of which ended in bowl games. He worked for years as a radio analyst on Ohio State football and was well known for saying how he "bled scarlet and gray". Survivors include four daughters, nine grandchildren - including Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith - and three great grandchildren.

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