Bill West started his wrestling career at Kenosha Tremper High School, Kenosha, Wisconsin, under the direction of Jerry Barr. He had a career record of 69-12-1. Bill was a two-time Big-Eight Conference champion and captain his senior year. He placed 5th in the WIAA state meet as a junior and had an undefeated season his senior year, and won the 1970 Wisconsin state championship at 112 pounds.
Even greater honors were earned by Bill in collegiate wrestling. Bill wrestled 4 years for Jim Koch at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, compiling a career record of 88-6-1. He earned All-American honors 3 times, and was an undefeated NAIA National Champion both his junior and senior years. He ended his career with a string of 58 consecutive victories. Bill was the first Wisconsin collegiate wrestler to ever win 2 national wrestling championships, and only one wrestler, Lee Kemp of UW-Madison has done it since.
At the time of his graduation, Bill held virtually all of the UW-Parkside's major wrestling records and still holds several. He helped boost UW-Parkside's fledging wrestling program into national prominence during his 4 years at Parkside. As a three-time captain of the team, he paced Parkside to 9th, 3rd and 6th place finishes in the NAIA National Championships. These were the first finished by the Parkside wrestling team among the top ten in the nation, but largely due to the impetus that Bill gave the program, they have continued to be national contenders.
Following Bill's senior year at UW-Parkside in 1975, he was selected to represent the U.S.A. on a tour of Japan and Korea with a group of All-American collegiate wrestlers.
Bill received his master's degree in Physical Education from South Dakota State University. He accepted a coaching position at Clinton High School in Clinton, Oklahoma. After 3 years, Bill was hired to coach wrestling at Union High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In his 3rd year at Union High School, Bill led his squad to the Oklahoma AAA State Championship. Twice at Union High School, Bill was named Oklahoma High School Wrestling Coach of the Year.
Bill moved to Montana in 1984 and coached at Helgate High School, Missoula Montana. His 1985 squad placed 2nd in the state. Bill then became assistant wrestling coach at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming.
In 1980, Bill was inducted into the NAIA National Wrestling Hall of Fame, and in 1987 he was inducted into the NAIA District 14 Wrestling Hall of Fame.