WVNCC to host Bleier

Former Steeler to speak as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month

WHEELING — West Virginia Northern Community College’s Academic Support Center will host former Pittsburgh Steeler-great Rocky Bleier on Oct. 18, marking National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Bleier will speak at WVNCC’s B&O Auditorium at 7 p.m. about overcoming injuries sustained in the Vietnam War to becoming a four-time Super Bowl champion. The event is free and open to the public.

Bleier, who in 1966 won a national championship as a running back at Notre Dame, was drafted in the 16th round of the 1968 NFL/AFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Before the end of his rookie season, Bleier was drafted by the Army at the height of the Vietnam War. He volunteered for duty in South Vietnam. During combat, Bleier’s platoon was ambushed and he was seriously injured with wounds to his legs and feet from rifle fire and grenade fragments, putting his NFL career in jeopardy.

Bleier lost part of his foot and had numerous surgeries to remove shrapnel from his right leg and foot. For the next two years he was determined to overcome obstacles and eventually made the Steelers roster again in 1972, according to officials.

Bleier only carried the ball four times in two seasons, however by 1974 he become a key part of the Steelers offense and won his first of four Super Bowls. Bleier retired in 1980 after 11 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“We are very fortunate and honored to have Mr. Bleier join us at WVNCC as we celebrate disability inclusion,” said Kevin Serig, a counselor with WVNCC’s Academic Support Center. “He is a great example of contributions made from people with disabilities.”

The B&O Building is located at 1704 Market St.

For information regarding this event, contact Serig at (304) 214-8938 or at kserig@wvncc.edu.