Former UNI and Iowa State football coach Earle Bruce has died.

The College Football Hall of Fame inductee passed away at his home in central Ohio early Friday morning (April 20, 2018). He was 87.

Earle Bruce / Courtesy: Iowa State University Athletics

Bruce guided the Iowa State program from 1973-1978, leading the Cyclones during one of their most prosperous periods in school history. During his six-year tenure in Ames, Bruce twice earned Big Eight Conference Coach-of-the-Year honors while guiding Iowa State to a 36-32 mark. Under his guidance, the Cyclones earned consecutive bowls bids in 1977 and 1978.

Iowa State hired Bruce away from Tampa to replace Johnny Majors, who left for Pittsburgh following the 1972 season.

Bruce was best-known for his successful nine-year tenure at Ohio State, where he followed the legendary Woody Hayes. Bruce guided his alma mater to an 81-26-1 record. Between 1979 and 1987, his teams won or shared four Big Ten Conference titles and played in eight bowl games.

Bruce's tenure with the Buckeyes ended after a 29-27 loss to Iowa at Ohio Stadium on Nov. 14, 1987. Facing 4th-and-23 at Ohio State's 29-yard-line in the game's final seconds, tight end Marv Cook made a spectacular catch-and-run for a touchdown that gave the Hawkeyes their first win in Columbus since 1959 (see videos below). The game still ranks as one of the greatest in Iowa history.

Courtesy; UNI Athletics

Following his stint at Ohio State, Bruce returned to the state of Iowa to coach at UNI for one season. He guided the Panthers to a 5-6 mark in 1988, before finishing his college coaching career at Colorado State.

In his 20 years as a head coach at the Division I-A level, Bruce compiled a 154-90-2 record and led his teams to 12 bowl appearances. He earlier coached high school football in Ohio. His final coaching stops were in the Arena Football League, including a one-season stint with Iowa Barnstormers in 2003.

Bruce graduated from Ohio State in 1953 and earned his master’s degree from Kent State in 1963. He was inducted into the Iowa State Hall of Fame in 2000.

Bruce was preceded in death by his wife, Jean.


Courtesy: Brent Popham via YouTube


Courtesy: CruduxCruo via YouTube