Earle Bruce dead at 87

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Former Ohio State Football Coach Earle Bruce is dead.

His death was announced in a statement Friday from his daughters:

"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, who was 87, had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 2017.

He served as Buckeyes head coach from 1979 until 1988.

During 2016's Homecoming Game against Rutgers, Bruce was honored by dotting the "i" during the Ohio State Marching Band's half-time performance of Script Ohio.

Ohio State released a statement Friday morning, noting that Coach Bruce was revered by Urban Meyer, whose first collegiate coaching position was as a graduate assistant for Bruce during the 1986 and 1987 seasons.

“I’ve made it clear many times that, other than my father, Coach Bruce was the most influential man in my life,” Meyer said. “Every significant decision I’ve made growing up in this profession was with him involved in it. His wife [Jean] and he were the role models for Shelley and me. They did everything with class. He was not afraid to show how much he loved his family and cared for his family.”

(Photo courtesy Eleven Warriors)

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