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He bridged the gap between the Old Ohio Field and the Hourseshoe! He won the first B10 Championships For the Buckeyes. He beat Michigan for the First time! We all know about Woody, Earle, Coop, Tressel and Meyer.......but his name was John W. Wilce. He accomplished a 78-33-9 record wiht the Scarlet and Gray for 16 seasons from 1913-1928.
It is said of Wilce that "he brought Ohio State University football into the big time" during his coaching career here. Probably his most notable seasons were 1916 & 17 when the S & G went 15-0-1, and won the B10 Crown twice. He also won the Crown in 1920 wiht a 7-1 record and the Buckeyes played in their first Rose Bowl game.
Probably the most notable game coached by Wilce was the 1919 game at Michigan where
he had the Buckeye imortal Chic Harley, and Pete Stinchcomb on his squad...the Buckeyes finally beat Michigan after 13 straight losses and 2 ties wiht the M & B. The historic 13-3 drubbing of the Wolverines, finally put Ohio State on the map as a "big time program".
After coaching Wilce went on to a career in medicine and became a professor at OSU. The John W. Wilce Student Health Center, built in 1969 is named for Wilce. He was inducted inbto the College Football hall Of Fame in 1954, and the Ohio State Varsity O Hall of Fame in 1977.
On his departure from coaching Wilce was quoted as saying.."Football was becoming too much of a business. The game was being taken away from the boys....I was a faculty type coach who believed educational aspects were more important than winning games".....one has to wonder what he would think today as he observed the current scene of recuriting and the money aspects of the game!
John W. Wilce...a man who propelled our Buckeyes into the current century with tradition,
honesty and hard play... a man who finally beat our nemisis up North...and set the stage for better things to come...........a former coach well worth rememering!
This post was edited by Bigjimmie on 2/5/2013 at 9:42 AM
Great article Big !! nice piece of history..
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