Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

John Wilce

John Wilce

Details

  • Position: Coach
  • School: Ohio State
  • Years: 1913-1928
  • Inducted: 1954
  • Place of Birth: Rochester, NY
  • Date of Birth: May 12, 1888
  • Place of Death: Westerville, OH
  • Date of Death: May 17, 1963

Member Biography

Ohio State had been playing intercollegiate football for 24 seasons, then joined the Western Conference in 1913. That same year, John Wilce entered the scene. His team won conference championships in 1916, 1917, and 1920. He retired from coaching after the 1928 season, having posted a record of 78-33-9. Wilce played football at Wisconsin and was all-Western fullback in 1908. While coaching, he obtained a medical degree at Ohio State in 1919 and joined the faculty of the College of Medicine. After his coaching ended he became a professor of preventative medicine. He retired from that post in 1959. His 1916 team beat Oberlin 128-0 and was unbeaten. The 1917 team, also unbeaten, outscored the opponents 292-6. He explained his departure from coaching: "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."