Chris Bucknam is a collegiate cross country coach and the head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks men's cross country team.
Head coach Chris Bucknam is in his third season at the helm of the Arkansas Razorback men's cross country and track and field teams. Bucknam was named head coach there June 27, 2008, after 25 seasons at Northern Iowa University.
Bucknam's accomplishments at the University of Arkansas have included both team success and personal awards. His squad won the team title at the 2010 Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships, prompting Bucknam to be named the 2010 SEC Indoor Coach of the Year and 2010 NCAA Indoor South Central Region Coach of the Year, both his second straight awards. Since joining the SEC in 1992, the Razorbacks have the only two coaches—Bucknam and John McDonnell—to earn top coaching honors during their respective first seasons in the league. Bucknam also joins McDonnell as the only head coach since 1992 to sweep the SEC Indoor and Outdoor Coach of the Year honors in the same season.
Bucknam also experienced success in his first two seasons at Arkansas, as the Razorbacks won the 2009 NCAA South Central Region Cross Country Team title and posted a runner-up finish at the 2009 SEC Cross Country Championships. That year saw the Razorbacks earn 23 All-SEC honors.
The 2008-09 season was another successful one for Bucknam as the squad captured both the Southeastern Conference Indoor and Outdoor team titles. Bucknam was named the 2009 SEC Indoor and Outdoor Coach of the Year and the 2009 NCAA South Central Indoor and Outdoor Regional Coach of the Year. In his first season as head coach, Arkansas student-athletes won 10 SEC individual titles and earned 16 All-America honors.
Bucknam began his coaching career at UNI in 1979 as a men's assistant track and field coach. In 1984 he took over the head men's track and field coaching position, and in 1997 he added on head women's coach to his resume. He would remain in both those positions until 2008. In his time there, he would guide his teams to 35 league titles, two top-10 and six top-20 finishes at NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. A 33-time conference coach of the year, Bucknam produced three national champions and 34 All-Americans, who earned a total of 85 All-America awards. In all, Bucknam has sent 146 qualifiers to the NCAA indoor and outdoor championships.
UNI earned 69 All-America honors from 2000 to 2008, including 51 total from 2005 to 2008. UNI's 47 men's All-Americans from 2005 to 2008 ranked as the 10th-most in the nation over that time.
During his time as an assistant and head coach, UNI won or shared 38 conference titles in the Mid-Continent and Missouri Valley Conferences. UNI won nine-straight MVC men's indoor titles from 2000 to 2008, and Bucknam also guided the Panthers to 25 MVC team titles and 231 MVC individual crowns. In Bucknam's final season with the Panthers, he tallied an all-time best outdoor showing for the program as UNI notched an 11th-place finish at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
Championships and titles
- 11 MVC indoor titles
- 6 MVC outdoor titles
- 4 cross country championships
- 2 indoor titles
- 1 outdoor title
- 1 cross country championship
He also won 10 men's titles while UNI was a member of the Mid-Continent Conference, including five indoors, two outdoors and three in cross country. After moving from the Mid-Continent to the Missouri Valley in 1992, Bucknam's men's teams won 21 league titles and finished second 13 times while producing 231 individual event champions.
- Men's NCAA Outdoor Championships: 11th (2008); 17th (1997); 39th (2001); 42nd (1999); 52nd (2006); 54th (2005)
- Men's NCAA Indoor Championships: 9th (2007 & 2008); 12th (2002); 18th (2006); 20th (2001); 28th (2005); 44th (1996)
Awards and recognition
- 24-time MVC Coach of the Year
- 9-time U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Midwest Region Coach of the Year, including 5 straight (1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)
- Member of Norwich University (Vermont) Hall of Fame
A native of Beverly, Massachusetts, Bucknam attended Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. There, he was a cross country and track letterman and was elected cross country co-captain his senior year. He earned his bachelor's degree in physical education in 1978. He earned his master's degree in physical education from Northern Iowa in 1982.
He and his wife, Cindy, have a son, Eric, and a daughter, Kate.
1. 2010 Arkansas Razorbacks Track and Field Media Guide 2. www.arkansasrazorbacks.com
- "Head Coach Chris Bucknam - ArkansasRazorbacks.com - Official Site of Arkansas Razorback Athletics". web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-02-05.