Dave "Duke" Werner
Dave "Duke" Werner enters his ninth year as the University of Florida's men's basketball trainer, although he is no stranger to Gator athletics, having spent the previous 10 years working with the baseball program. Werner is responsible for the daily care, as well as prevention and rehabilitation of student-athlete's injuries in the basketball program. He joined the Florida training staff in June 1994.
In his first four years with the Gator basketball program, he has made a tremendous impact. Only one game was missed in 2005-06 due to injury, despite significant injuries to both Lee Humphrey and Corey Brewer, due to Werner's relentless rehabilitation. In 2006-07 Werner played an instrumental role in rehabbing Al Horford who sprained his ankle on Dec. 10 and returned just over two weeks later in time for a showdown with Ohio State. In 2007-08, the Gators had the same starting lineup for 35 of 36 games.
Werner brought to Florida an extensive background in professional sports after spending time in both the National Football League and minor league baseball. Prior to joining the Gator staff, he held a six-month assistant trainer position for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the 1993 NFL season and served a four-year stint in the Baltimore Orioles minor league organization from 1988-91. As the head trainer for the Orioles entries in the Gulf Coast League, Appalachian League and New York-Penn League during the span, Werner’s baseball background translates into top-notch, experienced treatment and care for the Gator players.
As the Florida baseball team trainer Werner was responsible for the training duties over 40 future professional players. Werner also watched and helped 11 former Gators make their way through minor league baseball into Major League uniforms.
A graduate of Eastern Kentucky (‘91), he earned a degree in athletic training, as well as a teaching certificate for grades 7 through 12 in physical education and health. Werner continued his education at the University of Louisville, earning a master’s degree in sports administration in 1993. While at Louisville, he served as a graduate assistant trainer for the Louisville athletic program and worked specifically with the Cardinal basketball, swimming and soccer programs.
The 42-year-old Werner is a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association, the Southeast Athletic Trainers Association and the Athletic Trainers Association of Florida. A graduate of South Ripley High School and a native of Versailles, Ind., Werner enjoys fishing, hunting and NASCAR racing.
He is married to the former Gwen Strayhorn and they reside in Hawthorne. The couple are the parents of two daughters, Makayla Teal, born May 17, 2005 and Catherine Grace, born Dec. 9, 2006, and one son, Colton Herman, born June 24, 2010.