Harry Hiestand

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Harry Hiestand
Chicago Bears
Position: Offensive line coach
Personal information
Born: (1958-11-19) November 19, 1958 (age 59)
Malvern, Pennsylvania
Career information
College: Springfield College
East Stroudsburg
Career history
As coach:

Harry Hiestand (born November 19, 1958) is the offensive line coach for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. Hiestand earned his bachelor's degree in health and physical education from East Stroudsburg University in 1983. He and his wife, Terri, have three sons, Michael, Matthew and Mark, and one daughter, Sarah.[1]

He previously coached the at University of Tennessee and University of Notre Dame. Hiestand has also coached at East Stroudsburg University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California, University of Toledo, University of Cincinnati, University of Missouri and University of Illinois.

Playing career[edit]

Hiestand played college football as an offensive lineman at Springfield College and East Stroudsburg between 1978 and 1980. He played at the latter alongside future New York Giants offensive line coach Pat Flaherty, but injuries shortened his playing career in his junior year.

Coaching career[edit]

Early career[edit]

In his first coaching jobs, Hiestand was an offensive line coach at Toledo (1988), graduate assistant coach at Southern California (1987) and tight ends and assistant line coach at Penn (1986). He began his coaching career at his alma mater, East Stroudsburg University, after an injury ended his playing days. Hiestand has been a part of league championship teams at five of his seven stops, at East Stroudsburg (1982–83), Penn (1986), USC (1987), Cincinnati (1993) and Illinois (2001). He was on the Trojan staff at the 1988 Rose Bowl.


Hiestand came to the University of Cincinnati in 1989 after a year at Toledo. He served as run game coordinator with the Bearcats in 1992 and offensive coordinator in 1993. As offensive coordinator, running back David Small broke Cincinnati's record for rushing touchdowns while the offense posted the 7th most points in school history. Cincinnati's 1993 team went 8-3 after a 3-8 record the previous campaign.


After a five-year stint at Cincinnati, went to the University of Missouri. With the Tigers, Hiestand helped MU to a No. 9 national ranking in rushing at 250.7 yards per game in 1996. In that same year, three of Hiestand's offensive lineman garnered All-Big 12 honors.


From 1997–2004, Hiestand served as offensive line coach in Ron Turner's system and also was assistant head coach from 2000 until his departure.

During his tenure, Hiestand has produced 10 All-Big Ten selections on the offensive line. In 2002, Illinois marched out one of the nation's most balanced offensive attacks thanks in large part to Hiestand's offensive front. Illinois topped 5,300 yards in total offense for the first time in school history and running back Antoineo Harris topped the Illinois single season rushing yardage list with 1,330 yards. Seniors Tony Pashos and Dave Diehl each earned All-Big Ten accolades, and were fifth-round picks in the 2003 NFL Draft.

In 2001, Hiestand tutored a pair of linemen to first team All-Big Ten accolades. Both Jay Kulaga and Pashos were named to the Big Ten's first team by the coaches and media, while senior center Luke Butkus was a second-team selection. Illinois topped the 5,000-yard total offense mark for the first time in school history.

In 2000, Marques Sullivan and Ray Redziniak earned second-team All-Big Ten honors for the second straight year and Sullivan was named to the Football Writers Association All-America third-team. That season the line allowed only 20 sacks, the 17th lowest in the nation.

In 1999, Hiestand's line led Illinois to the highest scoring offense in school history with 388 points scored in 12 games. The UI offensive line cleared paths for Illini running backs to rush for 2,082 yards and provided quarterback Kurt Kittner the room to throw for 2,702 yards and 24 touchdown passes. Sullivan and Redziniak earned second-team All-Big Ten honors.

During his tenure at Illinois, Hiestand tutored 12 all-Big Ten selections on the offensive line. Every senior starting offensive lineman in Hiestand's first seven years with the Illini was signed to an NFL contract: Ryan Schau (1995–98), J. P. Machado (1995–98), Marques Sullivan (1997–2000), Ray Redziniak (1997–2000), Luke Butkus (1998–2001), Dave Diehl (1999–2002), and Tony Pashos (1999–2002).

Chicago Bears[edit]

Hiestand was hired on January 11, 2005 as Chicago’s offensive line coach. The Bears were one of six teams to have the same five offensive linemen start all 16 games in 2008 (C Olin Kreutz, LG Josh Beekman, RG Roberto Garza, LT John St. Clair and RT John Tait), marking the first time since 2001 that Chicago had the same five players start all 16 contests along the line.

The offensive line would become the most experienced unit on the Bears roster over the next couple of years, led by 11-year veteran and six-time Pro Bowl C Kreutz, who entered the 2009 season having started a team-high 102 consecutive games.

In 2008, Chicago’s offense attempted 557 pass plays and absorbed 29 sacks. In 2006, the Bears attempted 539 pass plays and allowed just 25 sacks, the lowest total given up by the team since allowing 17 in 2001, as Chicago went on to win the 2006 NFC Championship leading to the organization’s first Super Bowl appearance in 21 years.

Tennessee and Notre Dame[edit]

After spending two years coaching the offensive line at the University of Tennessee from 2010–2012, Hiestand was hired to the same post at the University of Notre Dame under head coach Brian Kelly. Since reaching the BCS National Championship Game during his first season at Notre Dame, Hiestand has developed a number of current NFL offensive linemen with the Fighting Irish, including:

Second stint with Bears[edit]

On January 10, 2018, Hiestand returned to the Bears after being hired by new head coach Matt Nagy as the offensive line coach.[2]


  1. ^ "Harry Hiestand". University of Tennessee. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  2. ^ Stankevitz, JJ (January 10, 2018). "In Harry Hiestand, Matt Nagy hits a home run on his first swing at Bears' coaching staff". WMAQ-TV. Retrieved January 10, 2018.