Gig Harbor High School athletic director Bob Werner stepping down
Longtime Gig Harbor High School athletic director Bob Werner has decided to step aside from his duties to spend more time helping those who helped him.
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Werner decided that he needs to spend more time helping his parents as they age. He also would like more time to spend with his four adult children, all college graduates and living around the country.
Werner 55, has been Gig Harbor’s athletic director since 2011.
Sports in his blood
Werner grew up idolizing his father, Bob, who coached various sports at Lakes High School. The younger Werner was a standout in football, basketball and baseball for Lakes.
After high school, he earned degrees in finance and economics at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma before taking a position at Frank Russell Investments. He later earned a masters of business administration at Pacific Lutheran University.
At 45, he decided to slow the pace and retire from trading for Russell, enjoy his children and spend some of his free time involved in one of his first loves, athletics.
He volunteered in various youth athletic associations for 5 years in the Gig Harbor area and was an assistant football coach at Gig Harbor High School before he was approached about his interest in the AD position.
Tidal wave of success
Gig Harbor won 15 state championships during Werners’ 11-year tenure. This spring, the Tides clinched the South Sound Conference All Sports Championship for the sixth year in a row.
SSC teams in all sports earn points based on how they finish in the league standings. The school with the most points wins the All Sports Championship. Gig Harbor has won the All Sports Championship every year the SSC has existed.
“I am very proud of that,” Werner said.
Two-time state champion baseball coach Pete Jansen said of Werner: “I would say Bob is the best AD that I have worked with. He always advocates for the students, programs and coaches.”
Some of Werner’s favorite memories include Gig Harbor’s baseball state title in 2017 and the Tides’ girls soccer championship in 2018. He vividly recalls watching Brynna Maxwell make 21 consecutive free throws in a state championship game win over Garfield in 2018.
Also memorable: A JV basketball game against Peninsula this year. Coach Shane Sheppard’s Tides had only 5 players available due to Covid. Two in-game injuries left the Tides with just three players, yet they pushed the game into double overtime before losing by a point.
Werner said it was the most thrilling game he’s seen at Gig Harbor.
Werner feels content with the overall shape of his programs. Gig Harbor is accepting applications for the job and Werner has said some very good candidates have already expressed interest.
More success ahead?
When asked what it will take for a new AD to be successful here, Werner pointed back to letting the coaches coach and said he would definitely share his philosophy with the new hire.
Werner said the new AD should experience a smooth transition from his current coaches, Gig Harbor Principal Michele Suiter and Superintendent Krestin Bahr. He said both administrators have been very supportive of him and his coaches.
Werner said he will never be far away for long, from Gig Harbor or its sports scene. He plans to still attend occasional games, live locally and root for the Tides to be successful in everything they do.