Few who don’t play or coach ever make it to a team’s ring of honor. Twenty years ago, Fred Zamberletti earned that award in Minnesota.
Zamberletti, who served as the team’s head athletic trainer from its inception in 1961 through 1998, has died. He was 86.
As of 1999, Zamberletti became coordinator of medical services. In 2002, he transition to senior consultant and team historian, roles he held until he passed.
“The Minnesota Vikings family is devastated by the loss of our dear friend Fred Zamberletti,” owners Zygi and Mark Wilf said in a statement. “Fred was a staple of the franchise since its founding, helping build the Vikings from an expansion club in 1961 to a team ingrained in the fabric of life for Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. Fred worked tirelessly, at one point building a streak of 1,049 consecutive Vikings games attended, and was loved by everyone throughout the organization — players, coaches, and staff. He cared deeply about the health of his players as well as their lives off the field. With his incredible stories and his passion for the team, he was respected by us as owners. Each of us inside the Vikings has our own personal memories we shared with Fred and those will never be forgotten.”
We extend our condolences to the Zamberletti family and to his friends and colleagues.