Ohio State Reacts

By  | 

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- What began as a day filled with football talk and parties across campus, quickly turned somber.

Former Michigan coach Bo Schembechler, one of the biggest in college football, collapsed and died in a TV studio the day before the No. 1 Buckeyes were to host their storied rival.

"This is an extraordinary loss for college football," coach Jim Tressel said in a statement. "Bo Schembechler touched the lives of many people and made the game of football better in every way. He will always be both a Buckeye and a Wolverine and our thoughts are with all who grieve his loss."

Schembechler was an assistant coach at Ohio State from 1958 to 1962 under legendary Buckeyes coach Woody Hayes. The two remained friends through years of bitterly fought games.

The No. 2 Wolverines were to arrive at Ohio Stadium on Friday afternoon, Ohio State said. Michigan coach Lloyd Carr was expected to make a statement.

Ohio State will observe a moment of silence for Schembechler before the start of Saturday's game.

Former Ohio State coach Earle Bruce, who succeeded Hayes, spoke Friday at a fundraiser on campus, where people with forlorn faces were stunned at the news.

"The state of Ohio and the state of Michigan has lost a great man, has lost a great coach, and a great dad," said Bruce, who addressed the crowd choking back tears. "In my opinion, Bo Schembechler is the greatest football coach Michigan ever had."