Mike Buckner always did things in a hurry. He was a football starter in the Big Ten as a sophomore. He was a head high school football coach in his hometown at age 26. He retired from coaching and moved in to administration when he was only 34. After earning All District honors as a Junior and a senior at East High School, Buckner was signed by Akron native Ara Parseghian, then the coach at Northwestern. Buckner started his first six games as a sophomore and defensive back in 1963. He continued as a starter the next two seasons. As a junior, he returned an interception 71 yards for a touchdown against Ohio State. As a senior, he was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection. In the meantime, Parseghian left Northwest to begin a legendary career at Notre Dame. He didn't forget Buckner, selecting him to play in the 1965 North-South Shrine game. Buckner was drafted by both the Chicago Bears of the National Football League and the Miami Dolphins of the old American Football League. He signed with Miami but an injury stopped his pro career at Buchtel High School. He turned a losing program around, highlighted by 10-1 seasons in 1976 and '78 and an overall mark of 47-28-1. He left coaching after the '78 season to join the Akron Board of Education.