Earle Bruce, Hall of Fame Ohio State coach, 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

Bruce infamously took over for Woody Hayes when things went haywire after the Charlie Bauman incident against Clemson, and he almost pulled off a miracle season. They did everything with class. Bruce had been reportedly battling with Alzheimer's disease since 2017. 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 sacked after his infamous sideline punch of a Clemson player in a 1978 bowl game.

Bruce's family released a statement on Friday morning to announce his death.

Rest in peace, Coach Bruce.

Ohio State would win a consensus national championship with Bruce on staff in 1968 and a second national title, by the National Football Foundation, following the 1970 season. In two seasons, Bruce went 20-0.

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He coached at Iowa State University from 1973 to 1978. Bruce took the Buckeyes to bowls in eight of his nine seasons. Bruce's final college record: 154-90-2. He led the Rams to their best season in school history at the time, a 9-4 record in 1990 that included a win over OR in the Freedom Bowl which marked the school's first postseason appearance in 42 years.

After a stint at Iowa State, Bruce was hired in January 1979 to replace his mentor and friend.

His legacy lives on, though, especially in the coaching ranks. The email included a touching quote from Meyer. He wasn't swallowed up in Hayes' shadow and forged his own identity while continuing to make the Buckeyes great during a successful nine-year run as head coach from 1979-87 that culminated with his election to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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