College Wrestling News

Ten Notable Assistant Coaching Changes for the 2020-21 Season


photo courtesy of Richard Immel

Usually, the spring and summer are filled with assistant coaches who have taken turns riding the coaching carousel. Because of COVID concerns and the uncertainty surrounding college sports, overall, those numbers were probably less this year than in past offseasons. Even so, there were plenty of DI programs that improved due to an assistant coaching hire two. Today we’ve looked at ten assistant coaches that were hired in 2020 and should provide an instant boost for their respective programs. Each has been listed below with some of their credentials and what characteristics they bring to their new position. 

Steve Bleise (CSU Bakersfield)

The first of two assistant coaches on this list made available because of Old Dominion dropping their program is Steve Bleise. Steve finished his collegiate career at the University of Minnesota in 2019 and jumped into the coaching ranks at ODU. Bleise was a four-time national qualifier, twice for Northern Illinois and twice for the Gophers. He was seeded in the top-14 on three different occasions and made the NCAA Round of 12 twice. As a senior, Steve made the Big Ten semifinals after knocking off the third-seed, Ryan Deakin. Bleise has some loose ties to members of the Roadrunner coaching staff, as head coach, Manny Rivera is also a Minnesota graduate, and assistant Luke Smith spent three years at ODU. While none of their careers overlapped, having guidance from the same wrestling minds should help Steve get on the same page as the rest of the staff quickly. The Roadrunners also have some young talent in the 133-149 range, so getting someone that is not far removed from college that can scrap on an everyday basis should only help. 

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