Broncos’ sports medicine director retiring after 45 seasons

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver Broncos longtime athletic trainer Steve “Greek” Antonopulos is retiring after 45 years with the franchise and the team’s training room will now bear his name.

Antonopulos is the longest-tenured employee in Broncos history and he’s the only individual who was a part of all eight of the franchise’s Super Bowl appearances.

Coach Vic Fangio called Antonopulos a “great, great guy, and obviously a great trainer. But above that, a great ambassador and a great member of the organization.

“Obviously, 45 years of service to one organization is unheard of in the NFL. That speaks to his competency and the value that he brought to this organization over such a long period of time,” Fangio said.

Broncos president and CEO Joe Ellis called Antonopolus “an institution.”

“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,” Ellis said. “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.

Antonopulos began his career with the Broncos as an assistant athletic trainer in 1976 and became the club’s director of rehabilitation in 1979. His career includes 37 seasons (1980-2016) as the team’s head athletic trainer and four years (2017-2020) as the Broncos’ director of sports medicine.

Antonopulos worked with 13 different Broncos head coaches during his career. He also mentored numerous athletic trainers through the years who went on to excel in the NFL and elsewhere, including current Broncos head athletic trainer Vince Garcia.

In addition to renaming the training room at UCHealth Training Center in his honor, the Broncos will recognize Antonopolus at a home game this season.

Notes: Teddy Bridgewater was sharper than incumbent Drew Lock when the Broncos held their first (fully padded) 11-on-11 drills. … WR Tim Patrick (hamstring) and TE Noah Fant (wisdom teeth) sat out along with OTs Bobbie Massie (chest) and Garett Bolles (family matter). … Newly signed CB Kyle Fuller participated in his first Broncos practice. … Fangio said about 70 players have either been vaccinated or have told him they’ll get the coronavirus vaccination soon. LG Dalton Risner, who contracted COVID-19 between shots, said he’s hopeful more teammates will get inoculated.

More AP NFL: and