ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Bowlen family has selected longtime Broncos employee Steve "Greek" Antonopulos to serve as Owner Pat Bowlen's presenter when he is enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August.
Antonopulos is the only employee to work full-time at the Broncos’ training facility during Bowlen’s 35-year tenure as owner, and he set to begin his 44th season with the team.
“I was overwhelmed with emotion when I was asked to be Mr. Bowlen’s presenter,” Antonopulos said. “I feel very honored and very humbled. It’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever been asked to do in my life.
“If you really look at it, it’s all about Mr. Bowlen. We developed a really neat relationship over all the years that he’s been here. It’s certainly unique — he’s not only my boss but he’s my friend. That’s what makes it even more of an honor to do this, especially with the request coming from the family.”
Antonopulos spent 37 seasons as the team’s head athletic trainer before being promoted to Director of Sports Medicine in 2017. During his career — which is believed to be the longest in NFL history with a single team — Antonopulos grew close to Denver’s owner.
Bowlen would begin each of his mornings at the Broncos’ facility with a visit to the training room.
“People that really know Mr. Bowlen know that he’s a no-nonsense, doesn’t-beat-around-the-bush kind of guy,” Antonopulos said. “When he asked you a question he wanted an answer and that’s the way our relationship started.
“Every day he came in here wanting to know how his players were. Mr. Bowlen loved his players. Our relationship started by talking about players — not only their physical health but how they were doing mentally, emotionally and spiritually. He wanted to know it all.”
Bowlen, who stepped down from his day-to-day responsibilities as owner in 2014 to battle Alzheimer’s, will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 3 in Canton, Ohio.
Bowlen was elected to the Hall in February as a Contributor Committee finalist for both the Broncos’ unparalleled success and his contributions to the league.
He and former cornerback Champ Bailey will become the sixth and seventh Broncos to become Pro Football Hall of Famers.
When it is Bowlen’s turn to be presented to the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium crowd and to a national TV audience, Antonopulos will lead the Bowlen family in unveiling Bowlen’s bronze bust.
“It will be emotional — it already is,” Antonopulos said, “We have a highlight on both sides with Champ Bailey and Mr. Bowlen being inducted.
“We are so proud that this proud man could attain this. He worked his rear off for this organization and for the National Football League. Now he’s getting rewarded for things that he did that stimulated the growth of the NFL. I think we’re all so proud of him, both professionally and personally.”
Antonopulos is set to become just the second athletic trainer to serve as a Hall of Fame presenter. Former Bills athletic trainer Ed Abramoski presented Billy Shaw when he was inducted in 1999.
The Broncos will kick off the enshrinement weekend festivities when they play in the Hall of Fame game against the Atlanta Falcons on Aug. 1.