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Ex-Ohio State Assistant Coach Dies

March 3, 1998 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ Esco Sarkkinen, an All-American football player at Ohio State and longtime assistant coach for the Buckeyes, has died. He was 79.

Sarkkinen, an assistant with the Buckeyes from 1946-78, died Saturday at Riverside Methodist Hospitals in Columbus. Hospital security Lt. David Lyons said Sarkkinen was brought the hospital Friday and was released later in the day. He returned Saturday and died around 8 p.m.

Lyons did not know the cause of death and said no other information was available.

Sarkkinen lettered with the Buckeyes from 1937-39 and was an All-American on the Buckeyes 1939 Big Ten championship team. As an assistant coach, Sarkkinen helped guide the Buckeyes to Associated Press national championships in 1954 and 1968.

``He was a big, big Ohio State man we’ll miss tremendously,″ said Ohio State associate athletics director Archie Griffin, who played at Ohio State from 1973-76 and won the Heisman Trophy twice. ``Coach `Sark’ was instrumental in my being recruited to Ohio State.″

Sarkkinen stayed in Columbus and remained active with Buckeye football after retiring in 1978.