Darren Buckner enters his first season as associate head volleyball coach at Eastern Washington University.
Buckner comes to Cheney with more than 20 years of coaching experience at all levels. He played collegiately at Golden West Community College in Huntington Beach. Calif., and also competed at several USA Volleyball Men’s Open National Championships.
For the past two years, Buckner has been the head volleyball coach at Laramie County Community College in Laramie, Wyo. After taking over the reins of the program in 2011, Buckner led the team to an 18-12 overall record and fourth-place finish in the Region IX North Conference. He had his second-straight winning season in 2012, as the Golden Eagles finished 17-15.
Before earning the head coaching job at LCCC, Buckner spent one season as an assistant coach at UC Davis. With the Mustangs, Buckner not only assisted with all technical development and on-court coaching, but was directly involved with recruiting, scouting, video distribution, budgeting and scheduling for the team. He was also the head administrator for the UC Davis Volleyball Summer Camp.
He has also made stops at Regis University in Denver, Colo., where he was an assistant coach for three seasons from 2001-03, and Jacksonville (Fla.) University.
He has also coached for three nationally-esteemed volleyball clubs, including Nike NW Juniors (Portland, Ore.), Boulder VBC (Boulder, Colo.) and Colorado Performance VBC (Denver, Colo.). Buckner also assisted with two Portland-area high schools and served on collegiate summer camp staffs for more than 15 years.
Buckner graduated from Portland State in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences. Buckner chose PSU after watching his sister, Michelle, play volleyball there for two seasons. Michelle was a 1994 AVCA Second-Team All-American, and a 1994 Volleyball Magazine Third-Team All-American. A setter for the Vikings, she led PSU to back-to-back Pacific West Conference titles, tallying 2,974 assists in her two years, which ranks fifth in the PSU record book.
Buckner was born in Tacoma, Wash., but grew up in Spokane, attending elementary school, middle school and his first two years of high school at Mead, where his father, Tom Buckner, coached track and field. A prominent downhill ski racer in high school, Buckner then moved to Sandy, Ore., where he graduated from the Mt. Hood Ski Education Foundation in 1988.
Buckner, and his wife, Sarah, have two daughters, Ryley (6) and Skylar (3).