I was a graduate assistant strength coach at The Ohio State University back in the 80's and what an experience that was. Earle Bruce was the head coach of the football team at the time. Needless to say, Coach Bruce was always around the Ernie Biggs "North" Facility (now called the Woody Hayes) encouraging players and coaches. I had Bruce as an instructor of Physical Education 610; The Fundamentals of Football. An awesome class taught by someone who would be really pumped up to teach….even at an 8 o’clock class time. There were a few football players in the class and they would help non players, like myself, with the playbook so as to be prepared for test day. Bruce and his assistant coaches did a marvelous job of teaching the class. Wow, their was Glenn Mason, Dom Capers, Bob McNair, Randy Hart and Bill Myles....to name a few. That was one heck of a staff.
Earle Bruce played for the Buckeyes, became an assistant for the Buckeyes and then went on to head coaching jobs at Massillon High School, the University of Tampa and then Iowa State. Meanwhile, Woody Hayes was back in Columbus. Unfortunately, Hayes stepped out of bounds, so to speak, when he punched a Clemson linebacker, Charlie Bauman, after he had intercepted an errant Art Schlichter pass in the 1979 Gator Bowl. But Hayes' downfall opened the door for the colorful and animated Bruce. Earle continued the Buckeye tradition by bringing in great players to become Buckeyes. Coach Bruce brought some extremely memorable moments to Buckeye football lore.
The thing that stands out the most to me about this coach was his pure competitive drive and passion for winning. Coach Bruce felt compelled to give his all everyday so as not to be AVERAGE. He was the kind of person that would spring out of bed in the morning and would hit the ground running. What I noticed is that his spirit seemed infectious. Being around him made you want to work a little harder everyday so as to help the Buckeyes improve. And like his quote at the top of the page, he definitely did NOT want to be average. Granted, not everyone has the genetic gifts to don the scarlet and gray of the Buckeyes. However, we can all strive to be above average….no matter what. That can be applied to all aspects of life…. including fitness and health. So get out there and push yourself a little harder! Make it happen and get to The Next Level!....."Who wants to be average?"