The longest-tenured employee in Denver Broncos history, is hanging up his helmet.
Athletic trainer and Director of Sports Medicine, Steve “Greek” Antonopulos, is retiring after 45 years with the club.
His career with the team began in 1976 and spanned all eight of the team’s Super Bowl appearances, 10 general managers, and three and a half team owners.
To players of all statures, he’s a dear friend — someone who was, above all, committed to their physical and mental well-being at times of uncertainty during their careers. To those who worked for or with him, he was a cherished mentor, a prolific and pioneering figure in profession that he helped develop.
“I love the Denver Broncos,” Antonopulos said. “I have put my heart and soul into this, and the Denver Broncos are first-class. They’ve had great leadership. They do everything the right way. It’s a people business, and they care about people. … It’s a relationship business, and the relationships that I’ve developed over the years have been phenomenal.
“… You learn to love people. You love the players. It’s a bittersweet thing. You work hard to have the opportunity to retire, but to walk away from something you love, that’s why I’ve been here so long. … To have the opportunity to stay in this position all these years, it’s because you love doing what you do. And I loved doing what I’m doing.”
Among his career accolades are the Fain-Cain Memorial Award (2011), an honour bestowed to trainer who exemplifies long-term commitment to the NFL, the NFL/PFATS Athletic Training Staff of the Year Award (1987), the National Athletic Trainers Association Athletic Trainer Service Award (1996) and the NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award (2006).
Denver will rename the training room at UCHealth Training Centre the ‘Steve “Greek” Antonopulos Training Room’ and will recognise the trainer at a home game this season.
“Steve has been an institution with the Broncos for the last 45 years and became one of the most respected athletic training professionals in all of sports. As the only person in the history of the Broncos to be part of all eight Super Bowls, “Greek” made a profound impact on this organisation,” said Broncos president/CEO Joe Ellis.
“No one cared more about the players than Greek. It didn’t matter if they were a Hall of Famer or an undrafted rookie—his standard never changed. He was a fixture on our sidelines for the greatest moments in team history, the first person running on the field to care for an injured player and the one who supported them through every step of their recovery.
“We congratulate Greek and thank him for a truly remarkable, special run with the Denver Broncos. Our organisation wishes him the very best in his retirement. We sincerely thank his wife Susan and the entire Antonopulos family for sharing Greek with us for so many years,” he concluded.