Denver Broncos Head Athletic Trainer Steve “Greek” Antonopulos has been honored as the 2011 Fain-Cain Memorial Award recipient.. The award is given annually to a NFL trainer who best exemplifies a long-term commitment to the NFL, as well as exemplary performance.
“‘Greek’ is nothing short of a consummate professional,” said Dr. Ted Schlegel, the Broncos’ head team physician who nominated and presented Antonopulos with the award during the annual NFL Physicians Society Scientific Meeting in Indianapolis last Friday. “He has the respect of the players that he has cared for over the years, and that is the reason many of them will call to ask his advice even after they have left the organization.
“I have always respected the fact that Steve is the kind of person that will look you in the eye and tell you what he is thinking and commit to his word. He embodies the principals of the Fain-Cain Award, and he continues to impact all of those who have been around him.”
Antonopulos, who is entering his 36th season with the Broncos, has been with the club since joining the team as an assistant athletic trainer in 1976. His tenure is the longest among Broncos employees and the second longest in NFL history among athletic trainers.
Antonopulos has previously served as President of the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society, and has received numerous awards throughout his career, including heading the 1987 NFL/PFATS Athletic Training Staff of the Year and being honored with the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Athletic Trainer Service Award in 1996 and the NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award in 2006.
Under Antonopulos’ watch, offensive lineman Ryan Clady rehabbed from an offseason knee injury to start all 16 games for the Broncos in 2010 and received the Broncos’ Ed Block Courage Award.
“I would like to thank ‘Greek’ and the rest of the training staff for getting me where I am now,” said Clady upon his return to the practice field in August.
The Fain-Cain Memorial Award, which is presented by the National Football League Physicians Society, is named for Dr. Thomas E. Cain and Dr. Robert H. Fain, who were longtime team physicians for the Houston Oilers. The award was established shortly after Dr. Cain’s death and Dr. Fain’s retirement in 1998. Antonopulos is the first Bronco to receive this prestigious honor.
-Stuart Zaas, DenverBroncos.com