ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Colorado Athletic Trainers' Association's Hall of Fame will soon welcome two new members — and the Broncos hold close ties with both the organization and the members of its new class.
CATA, which will soon induct the University of Northern Colorado's Shannon Courtney and Ponderosa High School's Chris Mathewson, has a long history with the Broncos.
Director of Sports Medicine Steve "Greek" Antonopulos was one of the founding members of CATA, which is a state-wide organization that provides education and resources to athletic trainers.
Antonopulos was inducted into the CATA Hall of Fame in 2011 as part of the inaugural class. He enters his 43rd season with the Broncos in 2018.
"We started the Colorado Athletic Trainer's Association in 1977," Antonopulos said. "It has evolved from a few members—there were 14 members at one point—to 800-plus members today. It is an integral organization for athletic trainers. We expound on each other's abilities and try to keep updated on state and national guidelines."
Head Athletic Trainer Vince Garcia is also involved with the organization and currently serves as CATA's treasurer. Garcia was promoted to his current position with the Broncos ahead of the 2017 season.
Jim Keller, a former Broncos assistant athletic trainer, provides yet another tie to the organization. Keller spent 10 full-time seasons with the Broncos from 1994-2003 and recently succeeded Antonopulos as CATA's president.
"I am honored and humbled to follow in my mentor Steve Antonopulos' footsteps as the newest CATA President," Keller said. "Colorado has such a strong history of Certified Athletic Trainers, and we are proud to represent the more than 800 members who are committed to being at the forefront of the athletic training profession.
Antonopulos expressed his support for the two latest electees to the CATA Hall of Fame.
"I've had an opportunity to be around Shannon for a number of years," said Antonopulos of Courtney, who has spent nearly 27 years at UNC. "She worked for the same mentor as I did at the University of Northern Colorado and does a great job as the head of clinical education for the athletic training curriculum. She has been a stalwart in CATA in addition to being a leader at the state and national level. She is a great person and a great athletic trainer."
"Chris Mathewson has been a national and state level leader in the athletic training field for a number of years," said Antonopulos of the Mathewson, a former CATA president. "He's done a tremendous job for our local organization and helped increased our registration process at the state level as well. He's a great man and runs a great program at Ponderosa and Douglas County."