Former Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Earle Bruce has died. He was 87.

According to a statement from Bruce’s daughters, the former head coach passed away early Friday morning.

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 was an assistant coach under Woody Hayes from 1966 to 1971, and was head coach at Ohio State from 1979 to 1987.

Bruce won 81 games as head coach of the Buckeyes, winning two outright and two more shared Big Ten titles. He had a 5-3 record in bowl games.

Despite all of that success, Bruce was surprised to hear he’d have the privilege of dotting the ‘I’ in 2016.

‘I never thought it would happen to me,” said Bruce.

Bruce replaced legendary coach Woody Hayes in 1979, leading Ohio State to an 11-1 record. The only loss that season came in the Rose Bowl.

He also coached at Tampa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa and Colorado State. Bruce had an overall record of 154-90-2.

Bruce was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2017.