Jacob Buckman was a member of the men’s cross country/track and field teams from 2003-2008.
During his career in both sports, he earned All-Conference honors six times, qualified for the NCAA Regionals in the 5000 meters, and helped BU win four conference cross country titles. Buckman was also garnered the department’s Director of Athletics Character Award in 2008. BelmontBruins.com caught up with Jacob recently to discuss his five years as a Bruin as well his present work in the United States Air Force.
Why did you choose Belmont?
The primary reason I chose Belmont was the people. During my recruiting visits and throughout my years as a student-athlete, I was always amazed at the quality of the people. The positive, friendly environment that Belmont cultures for helping young adults transition to the real world has always made it stand out in my mind.
What is your fondest athletic memory at Belmont?
My fondest athletic memory was being a part of the sixth consecutive conference championship team at our home course in the fall of 2007.
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Belmont?
There were many, however, I would have to say that Coach Langdon and Colette Keyser were my biggest influences during my athletic career. Those two were pivotal in keeping me pointed in the right direction, both on the track and in the classroom. They were always approachable and happy to listen or help in any way they could. I am grateful for each of them. I am also grateful for Paul Malloy and the sports medicine staff for helping with all the injuries throughout those years.
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Belmont?
The most valuable thing I gained from my time at Belmont is the life-long friendships made while there. The Belmont family extends well beyond the time on the field or in the classroom.
What advice would you give to current members of the cross country teams?
Work hard to put one foot in front of the other as fast as you can. Enjoy your time and cultivate quality relationships because it will be over before you know what happened.
Who was your favorite professor and why?
Dr. Harry Hollis and Dr. John Gonas. They always brought positive energy to the classroom and fostered an open environment for learning. Dr. Hollis always had great life lessons and also taught me how to tie a bowtie.
Where do you live now?
I am currently in Philadelphia.
What is your occupation?
I am an officer and KC-10 pilot in the U.S. Air Force. The primary mission of the KC-10 is aerial refueling and transport. It plays a key role in the mobilization of U.S. military assets. I travel a lot and have the privilege of working alongside some great aviation professionals.
I have been to more than 20 countries throughout the world, and did contribute in Operation Enduring Freedom in Southwest Asia. I'll be headed over to participate in Operation Inherent Resolve soon. As a mobility pilot, I am required to maintain a global readiness status at almost all times.
If you are a former Belmont student-athlete and want to particpate in this series, please contact John Langdon at firstname.lastname@example.org.