Remsen native Bill Bleil, who coached with Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads at Pacific and Pittsburgh, began coaching under Rhoads as assistant head coach and offensive line coach at Iowa State in 2009. He will work with the Cyclone tight ends in 2013 after sending five Iowa State offensive lineman to the NFL in the last four seasons.
Soon after coming to Iowa State, Bleil revamped the Cyclone offensive front. Sports Illustrated affirmed the job did as offensive tackle Kelechi Osemele was named a 2011 first-team All-American. Osemele started as a rookie for the 2013 NFL Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. One of Bleil’s former Iowa State pupils, center Reggie Stephens was Osemele’s teammate.
Hayworth Hicks, who earned honorable mention All-Big 12 recognition in 2011 is currently playing for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Stephens, played for the Chicago Bears after being drafted and playing for the Cincinnati Bengals. His 2010 replacement, Ben Lamaak earned second-team All-Big 12 honors in 2010. Iowa Stater Carter Bykowski was a draft choice of San Francisco 49ers in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Iowa State’s offense put up numbers that rank it among the all-time top 10 in school history in 10 categories last season. The Cyclones also ranked 35th nationally in fewest sacks allowed.
Bleil's men in the trenches figured large in Iowa State's offensive improvement in 2011. The Cyclones improved their statistical standing in rushing offense, passing offense and total offense over 2010. Iowa State's scoring offense improved for the third straight season.
In 2010, Alexander Robinson finished his career ranking fourth in rushing on the all-time Iowa State list. Quarterback Austen Arnaud finished his Cyclone tenure last season as the No. 2 passer in school history.
With Bleil coaching the offensive line, Iowa State improved its rushing yards per game total by more than 40 yards per contest in 2009, ranking third in the Big 12 and 35th nationally. The Cyclones cut their sacks allowed total from 40 in 2008 (3.3 per game) to 16 (1.23 per game) in 2009. Stephens earned first-team All-Big 12 honors before departing for the NFL. Osemele earned second-team all-conference honors.
Bleil, who has coached all-star performers in several conferences, including the Big Ten and Big East, was the head coach at Western Carolina for five seasons.
Bleil coached four seasons at Akron, where he was the assistant head coach the last three campaigns. After overseeing the running backs in his first two seasons with the Zips, Bleil coached the tackles and tight ends in 2007 and 2008.
Bleil's success in producing standout players continued at Akron in 2008 as offensive tackle Chris Kemme became the first Zip to be a three-time All-Mid-American Conference selection. He was the eighth Akron player to be named first-team All-MAC. Kemme anchored an offensive line that allowed just 1.5 sacks per game in 2008 as the Zip offense averaged nearly 400 yards per contest.
In his inaugural season at Akron, Bleil helped tutor second-team All-Mid-American Conference running back Brett Biggs, the program's first 1,000-yard rusher since the 2002 season. Biggs finished the year with 1,230 rushing yards, the fifth-highest single-season total in school history, and most since the Zips moved to the Football Bowl Subdivision in 1987. Biggs was also among the top receiving backs in the nation in 2005. His five catches per game ranked third nationally among backs. Biggs' efforts enabled the Zips to become the 31st team in NCAA history with a 1,000-yard rusher, 1,000-yard receiver and 3,000-yard passer.
In 2006, Dennis Kennedy was tabbed second-team All-MAC, rushing for 914 yards despite missing a game-and-a-half due to an injury. Bleil's running backs also took care of the football. They lost just one fumble in 2005. Biggs fumbled only once in 284 carries. In 2008, Kennedy coughed the ball up just twice in 226 carries, while Andre Walker did not fumble in 65 carries.
Bleil spent the 2004 season as the offensive tackles/tight ends coach under Walt Harris at Pittsburgh as the Panthers went to their first-ever BCS bowl game when they took part in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl versus Utah. Rhoads was the Pitt defensive coordinator that season.
He served the 2003 season under Joe Novak at Northern Illinois, knocking off traditional powers Alabama and Maryland en route to posting a school-record 10-2 mark, and one year (2002) at South Dakota.
Bleil also has head-coaching experience, having led the Western Carolina program for five years (1997-01). During that span, he was named 2001 Southern Conference Coach of the Year and led the Catamounts to their first winning season since 1994 with a 6-5 mark in 1998.
Prior to his stint in Cullowhee, N.C., Bleil served four seasons at Pacific (1992-95) and two years at Northwestern (1990-91). He was the offensive line coach at both stops before being elevated to offensive coordinator for the final three years with Pacific. Rhoads was also an assistant coach on that staff.
He and his wife Laurel have two sons, Kevin and Tim.