Four days after it was learned that Brent Salazar was leaving the Vikings to join the U.S. Tennis Association, the Vikings announced that Mark Uyeyama will replace him as head strength and conditioning coach.
Uyeyama spent the previous nine seasons with the 49ers, working his way up from his first role as assistant strength and conditioning coach to the head job to director of human performance in 2015 and 2016.
Uyeyama figures to bring a sports science background to the Vikings after using science and technology to keep tabs on 49ers players. Chip Kelly, the former 49ers and Eagles coach who was considered “a mad scientist” for utilizing sports science, raved about Uyeyama last May.
“Uye, our strength coach, they’re cutting-edge guys that have been on top of everything,” Kelly told reporters. “So there wasn’t anything I brought here that they weren’t already doing or had already tried and moved on to other things. Those guys are pretty good.”
Uyeyama was let go this winter after the 49ers fired Kelly and replaced him with Kyle Shanahan, who wanted to go in a different direction.
Prior to joining the 49ers, he was the head strength coach at Utah State.
Uyeyama will be the third head strength and conditioning coach in Mike Zimmer’s four years as head coach. Prior to Salazar, who held that role for only one season, Evan Marcus led the Vikings’ strength program.