Englewood, Colorado. Per the Denver Broncos, Steve Antonopulos has been given a new role – Director of Sports Medicine. He will oversee all aspects of the Broncos’ sports medicine program, including athletic training and player rehabilitation. I can’t help but wonder if this will change who is drafted.
In recent years, the Broncos have shown a propensity for drafting players with injuries who drop spots. I’m assuming that the logic is when they’re healed, they will be a steal. The jury is out of those decisions. Based on the last few years, it’s not great.
Former assistant athletic trainer Vince Garcia will now serve as the lead athletic trainer for players and assume all day-to-day head athletic training responsibilities.
JOHN ELWAY gave this statement:
“Greek’s been a cornerstone of the Denver Broncos for more than four decades, and we’re excited to have him move up a level to become our director of sports medicine.
“There’s nothing more important than the health of our players, and Vince is prepared for the important responsibilities as our lead athletic trainer. We’re in good hands with Greek overseeing our sports medicine program and Vince becoming our head athletic trainer.”
STATEMENT FROM STEVE “GREEK” ANTONOPULOS
“I’m very excited to begin the next chapter in my athletic training career in this new role. I’ve taken so much pride in serving as the Broncos’ head athletic trainer for 37 seasons, and while it’s difficult to pass on those responsibilities, I know this is the right move for my family and me.
“I’ve been living a dream for the last 41 years while I’ve worked for the Denver Broncos. It’s an honor to work for Mr. Bowlen and Joe Ellis, and I couldn’t have a better boss than John Elway. I’m grateful for this new opportunity and am really looking forward to working with Vince, our players and coaches, and the rest of our very talented medical staff.
For most of us, Greek has been the trainer our entire lives. They go together like Orange and Navy. Can’t think of one without the other. Like Garcia, he began his career with Denver as an assistant athletic trainer.
His 41 years as a Broncos athletic trainer are believed to be the most in NFL history with a single team and include 37 seasons (1980-2016) as the team’s head athletic trainer.
BACKGROUND ON GARCIA
Garcia, who is in his seventh year with the team, spent five seasons (2010-13, ’16) as assistant athletic trainer for the Broncos after serving as an athletic training intern in 2008.
He also has experience working as head athletic trainer for South Metro Fire Rescue in Centennial, Colo., from 2014-15 and head football athletic trainer for the University of Northern Colorado in 2009.
In addition to receiving his athletic training certification from the National Athletic Trainers Association, Garcia is certified as a blood flow restriction rehabilitation specialist. He is treasurer of the Colorado Athletic Trainers Association along with his membership in the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Trainers Association.
Garcia received his bachelor’s degree in sport and exercises science from Northern Colorado and earned his master’s degree in sports medicine from Oregon State University.