Courtesy: University of North Texas
In 2009, Buckels’ cornerbacks helped North Texas to the
most paltry pass defense in the Sun Belt Conference, and Royce Hill ranked
eighth in the league with three interceptions in 12 games.
In his first season, Buckels had just one veteran cornerback to work with in
Antoine Bush and had to be responsible for the quick acclimatization of newcomers
Adrian Adams and Royce Hill. With Buckles teaching, the true freshman
Hill started 10 of 12 games and finished tied with Bush for sixth on the team
in total tackles.
Buckels spent the previous three seasons before arriving at North Texas as the
defensive backs coach at New Mexico State University. In his three years
at New Mexico State, Buckels helped guide several Aggie defensive backs to
stellar seasons. Free safety Matt Griebel was ninth in the nation in tackles
per game with 12.5 during Buckels’ first season with New Mexico State in 2005.
Buckels oversaw the development of 2006 second team All-WAC selection Courtney
Bryan. In 2006, Bryan tallied four interceptions and ranked 10th in the NCAA in
passes defended with 14.
Prior to New Mexico State, Buckels worked in the same capacity at Southeastern
Louisiana and Delta State University. Before he arrived at Southeastern, the
Lions ranked 90th in pass defense in Division I Football Championship
Subdivision. After Buckels’ tutelage in 2004, Southeastern finished the season
ranked 52nd in the nation, allowing 226 passing yards per game.
Buckels got his start in collegiate coaching at his alma mater, Louisiana State
University. The former LSU star served as graduate assistant under both Nick
Saban and Gerry DiNardo, working with both the defensive secondary and special
Following a prestigious high school career at Amite High School in Louisiana,
Buckles went on to play cornerback for LSU from 1989-92. As a junior for the
Tigers, Buckles was named team captain and special teams MVP.