BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — In the continuation of the “Inside Water” series detailing past Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) and other notable individuals who have competed in water polo, attention turns to 1982 Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) All-America Honorable Mention selection and past Brown University standout Dr. Theodore Schlegel, M.D.
A 1983 graduate of Brown with a degree in Biological Sciences, he helped the Bears capture the 1981 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Championship and helped his alma mater make the 1979, 1981 and 1982 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship tournaments.
As a freshman in 1979, he helped Brown earn a spot in the NCAA Championship hosted at the Belmont Plaza Pool in Long Beach, Calif. It marked the Bears’ second NCAA Championship appearance as the team fell to Stanford University (13-5 L) and Loyola University Chicago (11-10 L OT SD) before topping the United States Air Force Academy (15-10 W) to earn a Seventh Place finish.
After missing the 1980 NCAA Championship, Schlegel helped Brown claim the program’s inaugural league championship in 1981 to punch its ticket to the National Championship tournament back at the Belmont Plaza Pool. The Bears once again placed Seventh as the team fell to eventual National Champion Stanford (8-5 L) and the University of California-Santa Barbara (16-6 L) before again upending Air Force (9-8 W).
Arguably his best season came as a senior in 1982 as Brown finished second in the league title hunt, but claimed another trip to the NCAA Championship back at the Belmont Plaza Pool. The Bears placed Seventh for the third time during Schlegel’s tenure as the team fell to eventual National Champion the University of California-Irvine (13-2 L) and the University of Southern California (11-8 L) before stopping Loyola Chicago (7-5 W) – the team that prevented Brown from winning the 1982 league crown. For his efforts, Schlegel was named an Honorable Mention All-America selection by the ACWPC.
Following graduation from Brown, Schlegel attended the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine. A 1987 graduate of Cincinnati, he completed an internship in the Department of Surgery at the University of Utah Medical Center, a Residency in Orthopedic Surgary at Utah and a Fellowship at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic at the Vail Valley Medical Center.
A specialist in orthopedic surgery with specialization in disorders of the bones, joints and muscles dealing with knee and shoulder Injuries and disorders along with sprains and strains, he served as head team physician for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (1994-2012), the associate team physician of Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies Baseball Club (1998-2012) along with serving as a consulting reviewer for the American Journal of Sports Medicine, the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine.
For his work with the Broncos, including serving as team physician during the club’s 1997 and 1998 Super Bowl Championship seasons, Schlegel was presented the 2012 Jerry “Hawk” Rhea Award as the Outstanding NFL Team Physician per the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS).
The co-founder of the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Denver, he currently serves as an Associate Professor in Orthopedics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.