Kingsford grad integral to Nuggets’ success

Dr. Steve Short

Iron Mountain

Daily News

DENVER — A Kingsford High School graduate played a key role in the Denver Nuggets’ quest for their first NBA championship. Dr. Steve Short, a member of KHS Class of 2005, is vice president of sports medicine for the NBA franchise.

The Nuggets beat the Miami Heat for the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy Monday night at Ball Arena in Denver.

Short, a Michigan Tech University graduate with a dual major in biological sciences and exercise science, joined the Nuggets in 2014 as team physical therapist and assistant strength and conditioning coach. Three years later, he became director of sports medicine.

The former Huskies quarterback was twice named MTU football MVP and was a three-time offensive back of the year. At Kingsford, he was a three-sport standout and was named to the Upper Peninsula Dream Team each of his final two football seasons.

Memories of his playing days for the Flivvers are far from forgotten.

“I remember the coffee pot being on first thing in the morning at the football field house, the coaches always being there for players, setting the tone every day to go to work and be great,” Short said in an email to The Daily News.

“I remember having a urgency in practice to get better every day and to find beauty and reward in the process. I remember being inspired by all the great teams and athletes, setting the stage for you to reach the top. I remember the camaraderie of everyone working together for a common goal of winning a championship, which was the standard.

“I remember making my best friends whose character and laughter stick with me every day. I remember coach (Chris) Hofer saying, ‘Big time players step up in big time games.’

“I remember my mom (Mary Kay) and dad (Dan) always being my support system at every practice and every game, providing honest feedback, endless positivity, and always enough Yooper grit,” he added.

“I’ll remember the endless hours of being on the field and in the gym with my dad, the first one to arrive and last to leave. This all carried on at Tech and I lean back to all of this often to push forward,” he said.

With the Nuggets, Short is responsible for integration of evidence-based musculoskeletal services, working with trainers, strength coaches, physical therapists and the other specialized services and techniques that upper echelon sports programs use.

In 2018, Short was honored by the Michigan Tech Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology, and inducted into the Michigan Tech College of Sciences and Arts Academy.

He received the American Physical Therapy Association’s Outstanding Physical Therapist Fellow Award in 2020.

He and his wife, Gretchen, have two children, Lillian and Noah.


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