A 1964 graduate of Xavier, Rocky played under the late Gene 'Torchy' Clark. Bleier then went on to play at the University of Notre Dame, and then had an illustrious 12-season career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. After winning a national championship at Notre Dame and being a captain for the Irish football team, Bleier recovered from severe injuries in the Viet Nam war to earn a spot on the first team to win four Super Bowls -- which the Steelers accomplished during a 6-year span... 1975, '76, '79 and '80.
One famous photo from The Post-Crescent was of Rocky when Xavier played at Green Bay Premontre, when the two teams met for the conference championship. Rocky (23) was hit hard by the defender (shown a few seconds later, laying on the grass) along the sidelines, near the goal line. However, the XHS runner was able to keep his balance, an almost impossible feat using his left foot, to stay inbounds and score... helping the Hawks win the league title. That shoe was later bronzed as an award to Rocky, and, the award is seen behind Bleier when he visited Xavier years later. The display case, with his retired jersey and other memorabilia, may now be found in main lobby at Xavier, between the Torchy Clark Gym and the Fine Arts Center near the concession stand at XHS.
ROCKY BLEIER FIELD ON THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS SPORTS COMPLEX