Former Ohio State coach Earle Bruce diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's

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Former Buckeye coach Earle Bruce has been diagnosed with the early stages Alzheimer's disease, according to his family.

Coach Bruce has spent years raising money for Alzheimer's research. He and his late wife, Jean, started the Earle and Jean Bruce Foundation for Alzheimer's Research in memory of Earle's father, who passed away from the disease. Bruce's two sisters also suffered from Alzheimer's.

Bruce took the reigns to the Buckeyes after the dismissal of legendary coach Woody Hayes. He lead the football Buckeyes from 1979 to 1987.

Bruce was fired just before the last game of the 1987 season but was allowed to coach in "the game," defeating Michigan in the Big House.

Bruce has remained active in the Ohio State community, serving as a local analyst for Buckeye football and even "dotting the i" during a Script Ohio formation in 2016.

The Bruce family released the following statement:

Our father would like us to share that he continues to battle the lasting effects of the stroke he suffered two years ago and the increased challenges of dementia/Alzheimer's. While he has done pretty well, his ability to communicate clearly, effectively and sometime accurately is compromised.

He misses his 610 radio family and interacting with all the fans and listeners, but continues to be active with the Buckeyes attending practice frequently and going to games. He's still the passionate, fiery football coach we all know and love!

We know dad often runs into fans, friends and former players and coaches and the communication and interaction can sometimes be confusing and frustrating - please don't take it personally.

Our father has always been open and accessible to Buckeye fans - and to all his team's fans. Now we request your understanding, patience, prayers and privacy as we manage through this challenging time.

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