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Ohio State Celebrates Life Of Former Football Coach Earle Bruce

Adora Namigadde
Ohio State held a ceremony to honor former football coach Earle Bruce, who died last week at age 87.

The Ohio State University hosted a ceremony to honor former football coach Earle Bruce at St. John Arena this morning. Bruce died in his Powell home on April 20 at age 87. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Tuesday's hour-long ceremony opened with pep songs by Ohio State marching and athletic bands. Dom Tiberi, sports director at WBNS 10TV, emceed, and several people who worked with Bruce gave remarks.  

Zach Smith, Bruce's grandson, said the coach invested in his players like family.

“Growing up, if he ever did anything, if he was buying a car, he'd call a former player,” Smith said. “If he was getting insurance, he'd call a former player. Everything he did, that's why he had to be in Columbus. Because he wanted to support his players.”

Head football coach Urban Meyer, assistant coach Tony Alford, 610 WTVN sports anchor Matt McCoy, and Youngstown State University president Jim Tressel also spoke.

According to Meyer, Bruce expected his coaching staff to invest personally in his players.

“In your wallet, you had to carry a note card. On that notecard was your player's name, his parents' names, where they're from, his major, his GPA, what year of school he was, his girlfriend and where his girlfriend was from,” Meyer said. “You had to carry that at all times, and often he would test you.”

Services and burial for will be held Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. The services are for family, close friends, former coaches and players.