Alum works as athletic trainer for Minnesota Vikings

by Gabe GilsonStaff Writer

Nobody has ever accused Zac Craig of having a poor work ethic. The Simpson graduate has worked at Louisiana State University in the strength and conditioning program and is now an intern with the Minnesota Vikings Franchise of the National Football League doing the same job.

Craig’s journey to the Vikings is about as normal as any other college graduate working their way up in their own respective field.

“When I was working at LSU before, I met with the Vikings and a position opened up,” Craig said. “It was something I could not turn down.”

When Craig was at Simpson, he was like every other student. He lettered in soccer for two years, majored in Athletic Training and graduated in May of 2007. Craig also worked as an intern at Simpson under Justin Snyder, head strength and conditioning coach, just like many students still do today.

What set Craig apart, according to Snyder, was his effort and attitude, which were different from other people.

“I would say it is not by chance or mistake that he is doing what he is doing,” Snyder said. “He has a strong background, he makes things happen and is reaping the fruits of his labor.”

At Minnesota with the Vikings, Craig’s job is very similar to the work he was doing at LSU for the Tigers.

“We put the guys through workouts one or two times a week, Monday through Friday,” Craig said. “We have lots of options of what we can do and we are basically there all day.”

The work that Craig does is quite a bit different in comparison to what the average Simpson graduate would be doing in their job. He helps train professional athletes. As one can imagine, this can become a very demanding task.

“It is a fun job and it is what I love to do but you work a lot and have to be willing to put the time in,” Craig said.

Nathan Seberg, assistant strength and conditioning coach, who also graduated with Craig in 2007, is not surprised at all by the work that Craig is doing.

“He had a tremendous work ethic,” Seberg said. “While he led by example, he also worked hard to explore his opportunities. Zac has been a great leader.”

Craig’s plans for now are to finish out the season with the Vikings and then move on to graduate school. He plans to go to Oregon State University for grad school and work in the strength and conditioning department for the Beavers while there.

Snyder could not be happier with his former understudy’s current success.

“Zac will be very successful,” Snyder said. “He will do what he wants, where he wants and will be good at it.”

Snyder went on to sum up what Craig is in one simple sentence.

“Zac gets what he gets because he is what he is,” Snyder said.