University of Southern California

Student-Athlete Academic Services

Dr. Cory Buckner

Dr. Cory Buckner came to USC in May of 2011 as an academic counselor, learning specialist, and program coordinator in SAAS.  He was promoted to assistant director of athletic academic support in 2018.

He wears many hats, but his primary roles encompass training, empowering, supporting, and equipping SAAS academic support staff (Tutors, Learning Assistants, and Assistant Learning Specialists) with the tools necessary to support the academic needs of USC student-athletes.  Specifically, within the SAAS Academic Support unit, Dr. Buckner supervises both the Tutorial program and Assistant Learning Specialist Program.  In addition to his supervisory roles, he manages a small caseload of student-athletes providing one-on-one individualized instruction.  Dr. Buckner incorporates motivational techniques such as utility/expectancy-value awareness, goal setting/goal-getting training, and self-authorship development in an effort to achieve the goals of developing self-regulated learners and ultimately well-rounded individuals prepared for graduation and life after sport. 

Dr. Buckner also has worked closely in supporting USC’s former student-athletes who return to the university to complete their degree. Dr. Buckner’s dissertation is entitled “Exploring the Academic Success of Black Male Former Student-Athletes and their Experiences with Academic Support upon Re-entry to College”.

Prior to transitioning to his current role, Dr. Buckner served as the academic counselor for the Trojans men’s basketball team, where he oversaw and led the academic support and student development initiatives.

Dr. Buckner came to USC after serving two years at Louisville as the Interim Director for Football Academics as well as the academic counselor for football. During Dr. Buckner’s tenure at Louisville, he helped the football team achieve the highest number of student-athletes over a 3.0 GPA in documented history. 

Prior to his time at Louisville, Dr. Buckner spent two years working at Tennessee State as an academic counselor for all sports overseeing the study hall program, monitoring initial and continuing eligibility, and conducting weekly academic meetings with at-risk student-athletes across all sports.

In addition to his doctorate from USC, Dr. Buckner earned both his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from Indiana.

A native of Dallas, Tex., Dr. Buckner is a member of The National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A), as well as Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated.

His father, Quinn, was a star basketball point guard who won an NCAA championship at Indiana, an NBA title with the Boston Celtics and an Olympic gold medal with the USA, then was head coach of the Dallas Mavericks and now is a TV commentator.

Contact Information:
Office: (213) 740-2018
Email: cbuckner@usc.edu