The school announced Friday that Bruce, at age 87, had died.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Earle and Jean Bruce Alzheimer's Research Fund in Neurology, Fund #312531, Care of The Ohio State University Foundation, Attn. Bruce had an 81-26-1 record. Prior to coaching Iowa State, Bruce spent a year leading the University of Tampa. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.
"He was a great man, a wonderful husband, father and grandfather, and a respected coach to many", the statement said that was shared on talking Big Ten's Twitter.
He was a high school assistant in Mansfield and became a head coach in 1956 at Salem where his teams went 28-9.
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Earle Bruce is generally regarded as the coach who revitalized the Cyclone football program in the mid-1970s. Hayes encouraged him to get into coaching. OSU won outright or claimed a share of the Big Ten title four times during Bruce's tenure.
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.
"My mentor", Meyer said previous year while introducing Bruce at a coaching clinic.
His daughters confirmed the death in a combined statement Friday, noting that they would "miss him dearly", but took solace in the belief that "he is in a better place and reunited with his beloved wife". "You're only as good as your last game here".