Lamar football adds three new coaches to the staff

Bill Bleil, Adrian Madise and Bobby Dodd have been named to the Lamar University coaching staff announced head coach Mike Schultz Tuesday afternoon.

Bleil will work with the LU offensive linemen, while Madise will coach receivers. Dodd will stay with the Cardinals' tight ends, but receives a promotion from last season. The additions to the staff were made official just before the Cardinals open spring practice Thursday.

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Bleil brings 25 years of coaching experience, including five as a head coach at the FCS level, with him to the Golden Triangle. Among his 25 years of experience, 16 have been spent as either head coach, offense or defensive coordinator.

Bleil makes his way to Beaumont after spending the 2017 season at Missouri Southern where he served as assistant head coach working with the offensive line. During his one season with the Lions, Bleil produced one of the nation's top offensive fronts. The Lions ranked among the nation's top 30 in pass protection.

Bleil spent one season as the offensive coordinator at Rhode Island before leaving for Missouri Southern. Prior to his time Kingston, R.I., Bleil spent five seasons at Iowa State. During his time with the Cyclones, Bleil helped produce one of the most successful runs in program history. Iowa State recorded its most wins during a four-year stretch since 1906 reaching three bowl games – a first in program history.

Bleil also spent six seasons at Western Carolina, including five as head coach. He was named the Southern Conference Coach of the Year following the 2000 season.

"Bleil brings with him a wealth of coaching experience at all levels of the game," said Schultz. "He has a very strong background and shares the same coaching beliefs of which we are building this program on. As we move forward, I believe what he brings to the staff will help put this program in the best position for success."

Madise comes to LU after spending the past eight years in the high school coaching ranks, including the past three seasons at South Oak Cliff. During his time at the high school level, Madise has made a name for himself by producing NCAA Division I talent. Madise has produced more than 50 athletes who have gone on to play football at a four-year school. Among the athletes that advanced to play football at the next level, 14 signed with NCAA FBS schools.

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In addition to the number of athletes Madise has produced, his teams have put up some impressive numbers as well. He helped coach four different teams to the playoffs, and was a member of the Red Oak staff that was named the 2009 District 15-4A Football Staff of the Year.

"Adrian is a guy that I have coached in the past," said Schultz. "He brings great energy and enthusiasm to field. Adrian understands the foundation we are building here, and what this coaching staff believes. Those qualities make him a great fit for Lamar University."

Dodd is a familiar face on the LU staff having served in a graduate assistant position with the Cardinals last season. Dodd's production and work ethic last season helped earn him a promotion on the staff. Dodd worked with the Cardinals' tight ends last season producing one of the league's top athletes. During the 2017 campaign, Dodd helped convert sophomore Case Robinson into an honorable mention all-conference athlete – an accomplishment made even more impressive by the fact that Robinson was a reserve quarterback the year before.

Prior to joining the LU staff, Dodd spent three seasons at Arkansas State. During his time with the Red Wolves Dodd worked with the quarterbacks and special teams and helped produce the nation's fourth-ranked kickoff unit. While on staff at ASU, the Red Wolves also brought home a Sun Belt Conference title.

"I had the privilege of working with Bobby last year, and got a chance to see the hard work that he puts into this program," said Schultz. "He was a graduate assistant but had the responsibilities of a full-time coach. He handled everything from position meetings to game planning and had responsibilities with recruiting. I was really very impressed with him, and it was an easy move to elevate him to this position."

The new additions to the staff are now focused on the start of spring camp as LU will take to the field Thursday for the first workout. The Cardinals will have 15 practices during spring camp in preparation for the start of the 2018 season.

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Big Red enters the offseason looking to build from a disappointing 2017 campaign. The Cardinals entered the previous season with one of the youngest teams in the nation, sporting 57 new players (between signees, transfers and walk-ons). LU only had 11 seniors on the squad, but despite the program's overall youth the Cardinals ended the year with four players being recognized on the all-conference squad.

The Cardinals return 21 starters from last season -- including eight on each side of the ball. In addition to those numbers, LU also returns five specialists from last season.