A Soviet-certified coach of Olympic-style weightlifting and
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) _ A Soviet-certified coach of Olympic-style weightlifting and Greco-Roman wrestling has been hired by the Minnesota Vikings as a special assistant to Coach Jerry Burns, the NFL team announced Monday.
Norman Temnograd, a 35-year-old native of the Soviet Union who earned his coaching certification in Kiev, will work with players in the areas of strength and weight training, said General Manager Mike Lynn.
Temnograd emigrated with his family to the United States in 1976.
″My family settled in Los Angeles . . . and I started watching football on television,″ he said. ″I didn’t know the rules or the language but I could see it was a special sport. I loved the contact and the physical aspects of the game.″
Temnograd became an assistant wrestling coach at UCLA.
″We shared a weightlifting area with the football team and that is where I was introduced to lifting, football style,″ he said. ″There was an emphasis on bench press and curls and not enough work on lower body strength and balance.
″My background is in an explosive type of weightlifting and since football is an explosive sport, I started developing my own system of weight training for football players.″
When Temnograd, his wife Olga and their two sons moved to the Minneapolis- St. Paul area 2 1/2 years ago, he contacted high school coaches to interest them in his program.
At Cretin High School in St. Paul, where he also teaches physical education classes, Temnograd met Vikings trainer Fred Zamberletti, who recommended him to the NFL team.
″Professional football players already are strong,″ Temnograd said. ″What I’m going to concentrate on is lower body development, which should make them stronger runners, especially in traffic.″