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Longtime Broncos athletic trainer Steve 'Greek' Antonopulos honored as Pro Football Hall of Fame Awards of Excellence recipient


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Longtime Broncos athletic trainer Steve "Greek" Antonopulos is bound for Canton.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has selected Antonopulos as an Awards of Excellence recipient, the Hall of Fame announced Wednesday.

For the third consecutive year, the Hall of Fame honored individuals in several categories — including assistant coaches, athletic trainers, equipment managers, film/video directors and public relations personnel — to recognize their contributions to the game.

Antonopulos now counts himself among the 11 former athletic trainers who have been honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the initial classes for the Awards of Excellence. Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway called Antonopulos in recent weeks to share the news of his selection.

"It is just an incredible, incredible thing," Antonopulos told on Wednesday. "I'm so honored and humbled to even be mentioned in the same breath as some of the all-timers in the NFL. … It's the ultimate award in my mind. I've never been an awards kind of guy, but after you retire, you realize you've been around a while, and I guess some things like this come along with it. I'm just so honored and humbled. I was so blessed to work for the Denver Broncos for 45 years, and we're such a great, great organization. [Late owner] Pat Bowlen, as you know, was a very close friend. I'm so honored to have my name in the same building as his bust. It's such an honor that I will never forget."

Antonopulos, who retired in 2021 as the Broncos' director of sports medicine, spent more than four decades with the organization and is the only individual who was on staff for all eight of the Broncos' Super Bowl appearances.

The Northern Colorado graduate worked with more than 10 Hall of Fame players during his career, including John Elway, Peyton Manning, Steve Atwater, Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe, Champ Bailey, recent inductee Randy Gradishar and a number of others. He also worked with a high percentage of the team's Ring of Famers, as only seven players in Denver's Ring of Fame ended their careers before Antonopulos' tenure began in 1976.

As he reflected on the start of his career, Antonopulos said Wednesday he could not have imagined that his name would one day be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"No, not at all," Antonopulos said. "I was a young buck from Hugo, Colorado and was just getting ready to start my dream job. I was just so blessed to be able to do that dream job for 45 years. Coming from Hugo, Colorado? I never even thought about the Hall of Fame."

Antonopulos, though, now joins an elite group of athletic trainers that has left a mark on the NFL — and he said the honor is "absolutely" more meaningful because he was selected by his peers. Each category for the Awards of Excellence is voted upon by specific selection committees.

"No question about it," Antonopulos said. "To be considered with the all-timers is just incredible. … It is a tremendous honor to be chosen by your peers. It kind of validates what we do, and again, you don't do it for awards, but I guess it's nice to be recognized for this. I'm just so honored to represent the Denver Broncos."

Antonopulos' name will be displayed at the Hall of Fame, and he will be recognized in Canton this summer.

Ring of Fame wide receiver Lionel Taylor was also honored in 2024 for his coaching career that included two Super Bowl wins with the Steelers.

Former public relations vice president Jim Saccomano and late former offensive line coach Alex Gibbs were previously honored with the Hall of Fame's Awards of Excellence in 2022.

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