UCM’s head athletic trainer Ron DuBuque has had a career full of fond memories and fierce battles. DuBuque, who has been UCM’s head athletic trainer since 2010, says that despite all he’s been through, he’s still “living the dream.”
DuBuque was born in Webster Groves, Missouri. His mother was a ticket seller for sporting events there through the 1960s and ‘70s. Growing up, DuBuque often helped his mother work and put in time at the athletics field. After some time, Webster Groves’ head football coach decided to take DuBuque under his wing and put him to work as a trainer for the school’s football team. By the time DuBuque was a junior in high school, he knew what he wanted to do for a living: Become an athletic trainer.
DuBuque graduated from the University of Missouri in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in education, with an emphasis in physical education. After spending a season with the Montreal Expos in 1982, he then went on to become a graduate assistant at the University of Colorado in 1983 and 1984. DuBuque would then go on to be the trainer and travel coordinator for the men’s basketball program at his alma mater, the University of Missouri, from 1984-1994. While there he worked with legendary basketball coach Norm Stewart. He also worked with future UCM head basketball coach Kim Anderson during some of those seasons.
During his time at Missouri, DuBuque was a part of three Big Eight regular season titles, and four Big Eight tournament crowns, as well as several NCAA Tournament berths. He also helped co-write the 1985 book “Missouri Power Basketball.”
After finishing his time at the University of Missouri, DuBuque became the head athletic trainer for the St. Louis Blues in the fall of 1994. Then in 1995, he received the job of a lifetime, becoming an athletic trainer for the NFL’s St. Louis Rams. DuBuque had experience with the team; he interned with the Rams in 1980 and 1981, when he was still in college. He worked as a trainer for the Rams from 1995-2006, and was present when St. Louis played in two Super Bowls in 2000 and 2002, taking home the championship ring in 2000.
After his tenure with the St. Louis Rams, DuBuque served as the director of sports medicine at the University of Missouri-St. Louis for three years, while also teaching at St. Louis University. In addition, he spent a season as an athletic trainer for the world famous Harlem Globetrotters.
In his own words, DuBuque had accomplished everything he wanted to do in his career and wanted to go somewhere close to home to finish it out. That’s when he came to the University of Central Missouri in 2010.
Dubuque says that he has loved his time at UCM and wants to be the head athletic trainer for the university until he retires. When DuBuque was asked what his favorite memory at UCM has been, he said it was when Mules Basketball won the Division II National Championship in 2014 in Evansville, Indiana. Not just because it was a national championship season, but also because Dubuque had suffered a life-threatening brain tumor earlier that year and underwent a surgery that saved his life. DuBuque has experienced many ups and downs throughout his 30 year career, but through it all Ron DuBuque is still doing what he loves and is truly “living the dream.”