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Steve 'Greek' Antonopulos retires after 45-year Broncos career

Counting players on training camp roster, Steve Antonopulos treated more than 1,500 players.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — After treating nearly 1,000 different players during the past 45 years, Steve “Greek” Antonopulos has retired as Broncos’ trainer.

Greek’s retirement is effective immediately.

A native of Hugo and graduate of the University of Northern Colorado, Antonopulos first joined the Broncos in 1976 as assistant trainer to Allen Hurst. Antonopulos became head trainer in 1979 making him what is  believed to be the longest-tenured trainer in NFL history.

In announcing the retirement of the man everyone called “Greek,” the Broncos said he treated 980 different players in the regular season and playoffs.

Counting players on training camp roster, Antonopulos treated more than 1,500 players.

His motto was “defend your desk.” And the only way to defend your desk, Antonopulos would say, is to be at your desk. He arrived most days at 4:30 a.m. and was often the last to leave team headquarters at night.

Antonopulos’ service was rewarded in 2019 when the Bowlen family named him as presenter to longtime Broncos owner Pat Bowlen for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

> Above video: Steve Antonopulos introduces Pat Bowlen at NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Credit: AP Photo/Ron Schwane
The Bowlen family poses with a bust of former Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and presenter Steve Antonopulos, center, during the induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019, in Canton, Ohio.

The Broncos had never been to the playoffs and had just two winning seasons before Antonopulos arrived. Since he started setting up the training room, the Broncos have been to the playoffs 22 times. Antonopulos is the only Broncos’ employee who has been to all eight Super Bowls.

In 2017, Antonopulos was promoted to the team’s director of sports medicine, where he oversaw all aspects of the club’s training and rehabilitation process. Now he’s walking away for good as he’s going to retire where he grew up on the eastern plains.

Credit: AP Photo/Gene Puskar
Steve Antonopulos assists injured QB John Elway at Rich Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. on Sunday Jan.12, 1992.

During the past four years, Antonopulos oversaw the Broncos’ training and medical treatment from on high, leaving Vince Garcia in charge of the day-to-day responsibilities. Like Antonopulos, Garcia got his bachelor’s degree from Northern Colorado. He served as the head football trainer at his alma mater in 2009 before becoming one of Greek’s assistant trainers from 2010-13.

After becoming head athletic trainer for the South Metro Fire Rescue in Centennial from 2014-15, Garcia rejoined the Broncos’ training staff as Antonopulos’ top assistant in 2016.

Credit: AP Photo/Ed Andrieski
Steve Antonopulos reaches out to injured linebacker Nick Greisen in Englewood, Colo., on Monday, Aug. 3, 2009.

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