Saginaw Valley State has undergone a head coaching change, with veteran coach Todd Buckingham departing the program.
In a public Facebook post on Friday evening, Buckingham announced his departure. “Today marked the end of an 8 year journey as the Head Softball Coach at Saginaw Valley State,” the post began. “So many great memories, so many great people…my life has forever changed for the better. So many people to thank….I don’t have the space to name them all, but you know if you have helped me along the way, and I am eternally grateful.”
Saginaw Valley State’s team site reflected no announcement surrounding Buckingham’s departure as of Saturday morning, though he is no longer listed on the team’s coaching staff. Veteran assistant coach Jamey Lobdell is now listed as the Interim Head Softball Coach.
Buckingham was hired at Saginaw Valley State in the summer of 2012, and led the program to a 217-138 overall record during his tenure. The Cardinals posted a winning record in all but his first season with the program, and three times reached the 30-win plateau. However, in the spring of 2019, a school-wide violation of NCAA eligibility rules resulted in the vacation of wins across a four-year period in fifteen different sports; for the softball program, the penalty applied to the full 2014, ’15, and ’16 seasons, as well as part of the 2017 year. Buckingham’s record at SVSU officially stands at 103-138.
The Cardinals reached the NCAA tournament in 2017 and 2018, and owned a 16-2 overall record during the 2020 campaign before the season’s premature end due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to taking over the reins at SVSU, Buckingham spent six years as the head coach at IU-Southeast, an NAIA school in New Albany, Indiana, and five years at Bluefield State College in West Virginia. He also coached internationally in the late 2000s, and is currently on the board of the National Faspitch Coaches Association, serving as vice-president of membership in a term that runs through 2021.