Chris Zellner

Ex-Hurricane Zellner joins Wayland football staff

WAYLAND - For Chris Zellner the summer months once represented one thing. From his summer school course work to his lengthy weight room workouts; a healthy diet and constant battles to get the best of the unrelenting southern sun.

When peers took time off for vacations and barbeques, afternoons on South Beach and extended relaxation, he ran and lifted, sprinted and squatted.

Maybe somewhere in the mix he snuck in a cheeseburger or a trip to the most famous stretch of sand in the country. But he didn't waste time. For Zellner, the newest member of the Wayland Warrior coaching staff, everything in his summer regimen has always been about one thing.


``You are a long way away from game day,'' Zellner, a 2009 graduate of the University of Miami (FL) began. ``In the summer, it's all about making yourself better. It's the little things: jumping off sides, remember the snap count and your job for that play.

``In football there is a great deal of trust and you've got to be able look at that teammate in the fourth quarter. It all starts now and I just keep trying to encourage them - I try to harp on those every week.''

As a player Zellner was a high school star in Sarasota, FL. He earned a scholarship to Miami, known to football fans simply as ``The U.'' He played tight end for the Hurricanes, primarily in a blocking capacity, and last year he caught a season-high eight passes in the Emerald Bowl, where Miami fell to California.

Now, Zellner has traded in the Florida sun and a helmet for a whistle and a visor. It's still about football and preparation this summer, but the 6-foot-3, 245 pound player has transformed into a coach.

``Ever since high school, my first goal was always to make it to the NFL,'' Zellner said. ``I helped out when we had camps in high school, and then also at Miami. I've always wanted to help out with the kids.

``This summer we're hitting the weight room, working on a lot of explosive weightlifting. That's the main thing. Trying to make them have fun is also a major part of it. We run a lot of hills. We add a lot of competition to it and try to go out and have a good time.''

According to head coach Scott Parseghian the fit has been natural.

``The kids have taken a real liking to him this summer. They love working out with him and he brings a great energy to the program,'' said Parseghian.

The workouts include a lot of sprints, running hills and explosive weight lifting. Strength and conditioning coaches have come up with all kinds of brutal workouts, from running with weights tied to their back or pushing cars. Zellner drives a Jeep Grand Cherokee, but it's not what you think.

``One day I had a couple of the guys help me push my car,'' Zellner said, laughing lightly, ``but no no, that wasn't a workout, I was legitimately stuck.''

Zellner says about 20 players have taken part in the voluntary work outs on Mondays and Thursdays with a dozen players involved on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. As a player, he bench pressed 410 pounds, squatted 500 pounds and threw around 330 pounds in his power clean. He shares his strength, his 4.61 40-yard dash time, and many other experiences with the players.

``I know I have a different perspective and some a lot of life experiences,'' Zellner commented. ``It's been a great match. The kids are great. They go out and work hard, they don't complain. They get along and they like what I'm doing.''

Zellner moved to the area with his fiance Melinda, a Massachusetts native. This academic year he will be a teaching assistant in Wayland. During the season he will work with the receivers and - at times - the defensive line. After a disappointing 2008 season in which the Warriors lost numerous close games, this year's edition of the Black and Orange boasts more experience and some key returning players.

Looking ahead to the fall, Zellner is excited for his first season of high school football in the northeast, and possibly a little friendly rivalry as he defends his Miami brethren.

Earlier this week Zellner was asked if he knew that Parseghian's is a long time supporter and fan of the Florida State Seminoles - Miami's biggest rival.

``Oh really,'' Zellner responded, sounding surprised. ``Nah, he hasn't mentioned that to me. Now I have to a conversation with Coach P when I see him again.''

Bookmark and Share

Chris Zellner Now a Strength and Conditioning Coach

Chris Zellner was named the strength and conditioning coach for the Wayland Warriors in Massachusetts. Zellner who graduated from the University of Miami this past spring where he was a four-year player for the Hurricanes he had 14 catches and a touchdown in 2008 for the 'Canes.

``The kids love him. He's been a great addition,'' said Head Coach Scott Parseghian.

This week 15 of the Warriors are participating in the football camp at Bentley University. On weeknights at Wayland High School, Zeller is working with athletes both in the weight room and on conditioning.

Zellner had a tryout after the draft with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but seems to have found a home as a High School coach. Congratulations to Chris.

Bookmark and Share

Undrafted Canes 2009 Signees

Signings among undrafted Canes: Antonio Dixon (Redskins), Bruce Johnson (Giants), Dwayne Hendricks (Giants). Tryouts this weekend: Chris Rutledge (Dolphins), Chris Zellner (Bucs), Anthony Reddick (Bears), Kayne Farquharson (Saints).