ODU Athletics

Martin Adds Beazley and Bleise to Wrestling Coaching Staff

June 22, 2019
By ODU Athletics

NORFOLK, Va. – Old Dominion head wrestling coach Steve Martin announced the addition of Kevin Beazley as assistant coach and Steve Bleise as volunteer assistant coach on Tuesday afternoon.

“We are excited to get Kevin and Steve on our coaching staff,” explained Martin. “Kevin is an excellent technician as well as a great people person. Kevin will be in charge of the 174-285 pound weight classes. Steve is an awesome addition to our staff and will immediately make an impact with our middleweights. He will be in charge of the 149-174 pound weight classes. Steve is fresh off a career at University of Minnesota where he competed at the highest level."

Beazley returns to Norfolk after a successful collegiate career as a Monarch from 2012- 2017 and a graduate at the University of Michigan from 2017-2018. During his career at ODU, Beazley earned All-American status in 2017 taking eighth place at the NCAA Championships at 197 pounds. During his senior season at ODU, Beazley defeated six nationally-ranked wrestlers and was the MAC runner-up.

"We expect him to not only push our upper weights but to also give us a recruiting advantage in the state of Michigan. He is a coaches son so he understands the sport and how to help student-athletes reach their goals on and off the mat!”

"I am really excited to be coming back to ODU as a coach," explained Beazley. "Working under coach Martin and coach Thomas is a great opportunity for me to learn the other side of the sport. In the short time that I've been on campus, I've already learned that there's a lot more that goes into college wrestling than I thought when I was a competitor. The mentorship I received from coach Martin as an athlete helped put me on the podium and I'm looking forward to how much he is going to help me grow as a coach."

Three-time NCAA Qualifier Steve Bleise joins the Monarchs replacing Chris Mecate as the Volunteer Assistant. Bleise spent three seasons wrestling at Northern Illinois before transferring to Minnesota for his final two years of eligibility. Bleise wrestled for current ODU head assistant Daryl Thomas while at NIU. In 2019, Bleise defeated No. 3 Ryan Deakin at the Big Ten Championships. He was also awarded the Verne Gagne Leadership Award from Minnesota and a member of the Academic All-Big Ten Team. 

“He has an abundance of energy and will be a game changer in helping our guys reach their potential. Both Kevin and Steve are from Michigan so we expect to start recruiting more thoroughly in that state, said Martin.”

Watch Bleise take out 2019 U.S. Open Champion, Deakin (Northwestern) in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Big 10 Championships. 

"I would like to thank coach Martin and coach Thomas for giving me the opportunity to coach alongside them at ODU," said Bleise. "Having already had Daryl as a coach, I know I'm joining a program full of people who are just as passionate about wrestling as I am. I'm excited to join the Monarch family and can't wait to get to work."

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