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Ex-Ohio State coach Bruce dies at 87

(AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Earle Bruce stepped into his dream job, football coach at Ohio State, under most challenging circumstances, replacing the program's revered longtime leader after a fall from grace.

Bruce embraced the task of following Woody Hayes, and went on to have his own Hall of Fame career. He never did quite match Hayes' record or status at Ohio State, but Bruce earned a special place of his own in Buckeyes football history as adored patriarch and sage and the mentor to the program's current coaching star.

Bruce died in Columbus at 87, according to a statement released by his daughters through Ohio State on Friday. He'd been suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

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