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Vikings’ Dennis Ryan named NFL Equipment Manager of the Year

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And he’s been with the team for a long time

NFL: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

You may not know the name Dennis Ryan, even if you’re a lifelong fan of the Minnesota Vikings. But you can be assured that everyone else in the new Twin Cities Orthopedic Performance Center knows who he is, because he’s been at his job with the Vikings for a very, very long time. Now, he’s getting some serious recognition.

Per Lindsey Young of the Vikings’ official website, Ryan has been named the 2017 Whitey Zimmerman Equipment Manager of the Year, as voted on by his peers across the National Football League.

Ryan has been with the Vikings since 1977, which means that he’s been with the team for nearly as long as yours truly has been alive. Long-time Vikings’ trainer Fred Zamberletti encouraged Bud Grant to hire Ryan in 1977, and he’s been with the organization ever since.

“I tell everybody that Dennis is the most important employee in this organization. If people only knew what he has to do,” Zamberletti said. “I can’t think of another equipment manager in the NFL that does a better job than he does. He’s on top of everything.”

You should really read the rest of Young’s story on Ryan that’s linked above, as there is a lot of glowing praise for Ryan, and a nice little anecdote about how one prominent current member of the Minnesota Vikings knew who Dennis Ryan was before he knew a lot of the other employees of the team.

Congratulations to Dennis Ryan on being recognized as this year’s Whitey Zimmerman Equipment Manager of the Year, and on his lifelong commitment to the Minnesota Vikings.