Remembering Earle Bruce: Five Treasured Memories At Ohio State

Darnell Taylor
April 20, 2018

Here are five moments to remember the fiery coach who bled Scarlet and Gray.

Bruce's Ohio State playing career was cut short by injury. They did everything with class.

While Jean hosted the team for Thursday dinners and rooted for teams that had coaches and players she knew, Earle was coaching the Buckeyes to four Big Ten championships in his nine seasons: two outright Big Ten titles (1979, 1984) and two co-championships (1981, 1986).

After graduation, Bruce worked his way up through the OH high school ranks, leading the legendary Massillon Washington program to 10-0 seasons in 1964 and '65 before returning to Columbus to rejoin Hayes as a full-fledged assistant. He'd been suffering from Alzheimer's disease. In two seasons, Bruce went 20-0.

Hayes was a larger-than-life figure who molded Ohio State into a national champion. His career record was 154-90-2. Prior to coaching Iowa State, Bruce spent a year leading the University of Tampa.

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He came out of retirement to coach the Barnstormers in Des Moines for the 2003 season.

It was at Colorado State where Bruce hired Meyer, once again, as wide receivers coach. You want to win all your home games.

After winning or sharing four Big Ten titles, he was sacked in 1987 after falling into disfavor with Ohio State President Ed Jennings.

Bruce left Iowa State to return to his alma mater of Ohio State following the 1978 season. 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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