Bucknam Selected to Northern Iowa HPELS Hall of Excellence

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The Hall of Excellence Award Committee voted UNANIMOUSLY to induct Arkansas men’s track & field/cross country head coach Chris Bucknam into the HPELS Hall of Excellence. Bucknam’s induction will take place Oct. 5 on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa.

“I’m not sure I’m worthy of this recognition, but I’m feeling an incredible sense of pride and accomplishment having been chosen for this honor,” said head coach Chris Bucknam. “To be included in Hall of Excellence with so many of my mentors, former professors and friends is an unbelievable honor. If not for Dr. Bill Thrall, Dr. Sue Doody, Dr. Lyle Schwartzenbach, Lynn King and many others, who gave me the opportunity and encouragement to teach and coach while I pursued my Master’s Degree, I would not be where I am today. In addition, the years of teaching in HPELS honed my coaching skills.”

Bucknam is also a member of the UNI Athletics Hall of Fame and the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame, with those inductions coming in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

The Northern Iowa School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services is one of the oldest programs in of the United States tracing its historical roots to 1896 with the establishment of the Department.

Physical Culture. Coursework in Physical Education dates back to 1878. In 1978 the School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services was established, combining the Men’s and
Women’s Health, Physical Education and Recreation programs. Dr. Crawford and Dr. Thrall were department heads at that time and through their generosity the University of Northern Iowa’s
School of HPELS developed the Hall of Excellence to recognize former graduates of the school who have distinguished themselves in their profession. The Hall is of Excellence is located in the main lobby of the Wellness/Recreation Center. Although the school is proud of all its graduates, this awards program was implemented to recognize meritorious graduates and to encourage currently enrolled students t drive towards this level of recognition.

The HPELS Hall of Excellence will serve to recognize distinguished UNI graduates from the School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services. Inductees will have had at least 10 years of service to their profession and have met three of the following criteria.

  • Demonstrated mastery of the knowledge base within their profession.
  • Contributed significantly as a teacher, leader, executive and/or administrator and widely recognized for the quality of that contribution to their profession.
  • Demonstrated scholarly activity through publications and presentations related to their profession.
  • Contributed significantly their profession while holding offices in professional orgamzatlons of state, regmnal, national, and international scope.
  • Demonstrated cumulative record profession (including awards and honors) of effective and enthuastic service to their profession with the intent to bring useful knoledge and pertinent information to their field.

The Bucknam File:

  • Masters of Arts Degree in Physical Education from the University of Northern Iowa in 1982;
  • UNI Head Men’s Track and Field Coach (1984-2008), Head Women’s Coach (1997-2008)
  • UNI Assistant Coach (1979-1984)
  • 33-tme Conference Coach of the Year at Northern Iowa
  • 38 Conference Titles at Northern Iowa

University of Northern Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame (2013)

  • Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame (2014)
  • Norwich University Hall of Fame (2008)