Maria Buckel has served as Director of Athletics at Fontbonne University since 2010. During her tenure, Buckel has increased the full-time staff from 2 full-time coaches to ten. While also adding an additional full-time athletic trainer and moving the sports information director to full-time. Student-athlete numbers also have grown during Buckel’s tenure through added sports.
Buckel increased fundraising through corporate sponsorships and creating a booster club. While serving on the university’s senior leadership team Buckel has played a significant role in the research, planning, and acquisition of a closed high school which will serve as the twenty-three acre home of Fontbonne’s outdoor sports in addition to newly added sports.
In her first year as Director of Athletics, Fontbonne was cited with a major violation that occurred prior to her tenure. Buckel led the department through the investigation and a successful two year probation.
Before assuming the responsibilities of Director of Athletics, Buckel served as the Interim Athletic Director for four months and the Associate Athletic Director for a year. As Associate AD, Buckel oversaw compliance and supervised women’s sports.
Prior to her arrival at Fontbonne, Buckel served as the Assistant Athletic Director for External Affairs at the University of Evansville. While at UE, she was responsible for the department’s corporate sponsorships, marketing, facility management, and game management. Buckel began her career in sports as an intern for the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA).
Buckel has been active both on-campus and off-campus serving on the NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Committee with her last two years as chair. She is also an active member of St. Louis Sports Commission Associates Board. Buckel has attended NACWAA’s Institute for Administrative Advancement and Leadership Enhancement Institutes. She serves on many Fontbonne but the one she is most passionate about is the Peace and Justice Committee formed after the Michael Brown shooting. Buckel has also served as a panelist at the NCAA Division III Issues Forum, an Inclusion Session, and the AVCA convention.
A native of Oran, MO, Buckel received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Fontbonne, and earned her master’s degree in higher education from Southeast Missouri State. Buckel and her husband Chris live in St. Louis with their daughter Lyla.