Maria (Eftink) Buckel has served as Fontbonne's Director of Athletics since 2010. She began her career in sports as an intern for the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA). Afterwards, she planned to intern with the University of Evansville (UE). However nearing the completion of her internship with the AJGA, she was offered a full-time position as a tournament director which led UE counter-offering her with the position of Assistant Director of External Affairs. After her first year at UE, she was promoted to Assistant Athletic Director for External Affairs.
While at Evansville, Buckel was approached by her alma mater, Fontbonne University, about an open Associate Athletic Director position. Shortly after taking the Associate AD position, the Athletic Director at Fontbonne announced his plans to retire at the end of the year. After a full search for a new Athletic Director, Buckel was asked to serve as the Interim Athletic Director. She served in that capacity for four months until she was offered the Director of Athletics position, a role that she has been serving in since November 2010.
Buckel earned a bachelor’s in business administration from Fontbonne in 2006 while playing basketball and volleyball, and she holds a master’s degree in higher education with an emphasis in sports administration from Southeast Missouri State. She married Chris Buckel in August of 2016.