Earle Bruce: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Earle Bruce
Replace this image male.svg

Title Head coach
Sport Football
Born March 8, 1931 (1931-03-08) (age 78)
Place of birth Cumberland, Maryland
Career highlights
Overall 154-90-2
Bowls 7-5
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
4 Big Ten (1979, 1981, 1984, 1986)
Playing career
1951 Ohio State University
Position Running Back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
University of Tampa
Iowa State University
Ohio State University
University of Northern Iowa
Colorado State University
College Football Hall of Fame, 2002 (Bio)

Earle Bruce (born March 8, 1931 in Cumberland, Maryland) is a former college football and arena football coach. Bruce was the successor to legendary Ohio State head coach Woody Hayes. In 2002, Earle Bruce was inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame.


As a player and player/coach

Bruce was recruited as a full back at the Ohio State University by head coach Wes Fesler. He played on the OSU freshman team in 1950, but before he could join the varsity team in 1951 he suffered a torn meniscus, ending his football career. Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes asked Bruce to join the coaching staff, which he did until his graduation in 1953. He was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity while attending Ohio State.

Coaching career

Bruce accumulated a collegiate coaching record of 154-90-2 with five different universities. Preceding that, however, Earle Bruce was one of the most successful high school football coaches in Ohio history, accumulating a record of 82–12–3 in 10 seasons of head coaching positions with three Ohio high schools.[1] He led four different college teams to bowl games, where he had a 7-5 record.


High school coaching

Upon graduating from Ohio State, Bruce accepted a position as an assistant coach at Mansfield High School in Mansfield, Ohio.[2] In 1956, Bruce accepted his first head coaching position, at Salem High School in Salem, Ohio. Over the next four seasons, he led the Quakers[3] to a record of 28–9.[2] From 1960 until 1963, Bruce coached the Blue Streaks at Sandusky High School, Sandusky, Ohio. He compiled a record at Sandusky of 34–3–3.[2][1]

Massillon High School then hired Bruce as head coach, where his teams went undefeated in 1964 and 1965.[2] Though the Massillon Tigers have gained national fame for their football teams over the years,[4] Bruce remains the only undefeated head football coach in Massillon High School history.[1]

College coaching

Hayes then hired Bruce back to Ohio State as a position coach for the offensive line and later defensive backs. After five seasons the University of Tampa brought Bruce on as head coach in 1972. During his first season, Tampa went 10–2, including a win in the Tangerine Bowl. Bruce moved into the head coaching position at Iowa State University following his success at Tampa. Iowa State experienced some success in six seasons with Bruce as head coach. In 2000, Iowa State inducted Bruce into their school hall of fame, named the Louis Menze Hall of Fame.

Ohio State

After Woody Hayes was fired from Ohio State, Bruce was offered that head coaching position. Bruce coached Ohio State from 1979–1987. In the first year, Ohio State went undefeated in the regular season and played in the Rose Bowl, losing the game and the national championship by a single point. In 1987, he was fired just prior to the last game of the season—against Michigan—but was allowed to finish out the year. Bruce was able to defeat Michigan at Ann Arbor. This is something Ohio State would not do again until 2001 under head coach Jim Tressel. After the game, Bo Schembechler told Bruce, "I always mind losing to Ohio State but I didn't mind so much today."

After Ohio State

Bruce took over the head coaching position at the University of Northern Iowa for one year, and then finished his intercollegiate coaching career at Colorado State University. In his second season, he led the Rams to a winning record and a victory over Oregon in the Freedom Bowl, their first bowl appearance since 1948 and their first bowl victory ever. He was fired two years later for, among other things, verbally and physically abusing his players and discouraging players from taking classes that conflicted with football practice.[5] After Colorado State, he moved on to the Arena Football League, where he coached the Cleveland Thunderbolts in 1994 and the St. Louis Stampede in 1995 and 1996 before retiring.

Return to coaching and later life

In 2001, Bruce came out of retirement to coach the final ten games for the Arena Football League's Iowa Barnstormers, guiding them to a 7-3 record. In 2004, Bruce returned to Ohio to become the head coach for the Columbus Destroyers, who were moving from Buffalo to Columbus that year. He retired to a front office position after coaching the Destroyers to a 6–10 record in 2004, and was replaced as head coach by Chris Spielman, who played for Bruce at Ohio State. Bruce finished with a 19–25 record over four seasons in the AFL.

Today, Bruce works as an Ohio State football analyst for WTVN 610AM in Columbus as well as being an analyst for ONN on their OSU programming.

In his private life, Earle Bruce is married with four children and eight grandchildren. His daughters' names are Lynn, Mikky, Aimee, and Noel.

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl Coaches# AP°
Tampa Spartans (Independent) (1972–1972)
1972 Tampa 10-2 W Tangerine
Tampa: 10-2
Iowa State Cyclones (Big Eight Conference) (1973–1978)
1973 Iowa State 4-7 2-5 T-6th
1974 Iowa State 4-7 2-5 6th
1975 Iowa State 4-7 1-6 7th
1976 Iowa State 8-3 4-3 T-4th 18 19
1977 Iowa State 8-4 5-2 T-2nd L Peach
1978 Iowa State 8-4 4-3 T-3rd L Hall of Fame Classic
Iowa State: 36-32 18-24
Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten Conference) (1979–1987)
1979 Ohio State 11-1 8-0 1st L Rose 4 4
1980 Ohio State 9-3 7-1 T-2nd L Fiesta 15 15
1981 Ohio State 9-3 6-2 T-1st W Liberty 12 15
1982 Ohio State 9-3 7-1 2nd W Holiday 12 12
1983 Ohio State 9-3 6-3 4th W Fiesta 8 9
1984 Ohio State 9-3 7-2 1st L Rose 12 13
1985 Ohio State 9-3 5-3 T-4th W Citrus 11 14
1986 Ohio State 10-3 7-1 T-1st W Cotton 6 7
1987 Ohio State 6-4-1 4-4 5th
Ohio State: 81-26-1 57-17
Northern Iowa Panthers (Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference) (1988–1988)
1988 Northern Iowa 5-6 3-3 4th
Northern Iowa: 5-6 3-3
Colorado State Rams (Western Athletic Conference) (1989–1992)
1989 Colorado State 5-5-1 4-3 T-5th
1990 Colorado State 9-4 6-1 2nd W Freedom
1991 Colorado State 3-8 2-6 T-8th
1992 Colorado State 5-7 3-5 T-7th
Colorado State: 22-24-1 15-15
Total: 154-90-2
      National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. ^ a b c "Massillon Tigers CyberRevue". http://www.massillontigers.com/history.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-17.  
  2. ^ a b c d Park, Jack (2003). The Official Ohio State Football Encyclopedia: National Championship Edition. Sports Publishing LLC. ISBN 1582616957.  
  3. ^ SalemHistoryMakers.com, accessed November 17, 2007.
  4. ^ Greatest HS Football Rivalries, a documentary series produced by NFL Films. Summary at Versus' website. Accessed November 17, 2007
  5. ^ SPORTS PEOPLE: COLLEGE FOOTBALL; Colorado State Lists Charges Against Bruce - New York Times

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Johnny Majors
Iowa State University Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Donnie Duncan
Preceded by
Woody Hayes
Ohio State University Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
John Cooper
Preceded by
Joe Paterno
Paul "Bear" Bryant Award
Succeeded by
Vince Dooley
Preceded by
Leon Fuller
Colorado State University Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Sonny Lubick
Preceded by
Ron Selesky
Columbus Destroyers Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Chris Spielman


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address