Sr. Assoc. A.D./Facilities, Operations & Project Mgmt
Tom Buning arrived at SMU in August 2008, following his tenure as Director of Athletics at the University of North Dakota. Buning serves as SMU's Senior Associate A.D. for Facilities, Operations & Capital Projects while overseeing Men's and Women's Soccer and Swimming & Diving programs on the Hilltop.
SMU has undertaken big facility upgrades under Buning, building new facilities and improving existing ones. Phase I of the SMU Payne Stewart Golf Learning Center at the Dallas Athletic Club was completed in 2010 and numerous updates to the Loyd All Sports Center, including creation of a new center for the Academic Development of Student Athletes, have been completed. A new integrated video and audio system and game production studio was installed at Gerald J. Ford Stadium prior to the 2010 season, and a renovation of the football locker room and team meeting rooms, along with new stadium turf and TV-quality lighting, were completed as well. This fall will see the start of over $70M in two major athletics facilities construction projects. SMU kicks off the first phase of over $40 million to renovate and expand Moody Coliseum - scheduled for completion in December 2013 to start Big East play. In addition, the new Tennis Complex featuring six indoor and six outdoor courts will break ground. Future projects are undergoing feasibility studies and master planning initiatives.
At UND, Buning led a top-five NCAA Division II athletic department with 20 teams, including national power men's and women's Division I hockey programs. He co-chaired the Division I Committee which positioned UND to make the successful move to full Division I status, supported by business, fundraising and staffing plans, and initial conference affiliations. During his tenure, men's hockey reached the NCAA Frozen Four each year, leading 14 of 20 teams to NCAA post season play, and UND was the winner of the all-sport Commissioner's Cup and an unblemished record of consecutive semesters that student-athletes combined for a GPA over 3.0 in the classroom.
Buning went to UND after four years as associate athletic director at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. During his tenure, he has served as the director of operations for 25 teams, supervised 50 full time and 250 part-time employees, and managed 18 buildings and eight athletic fields. He has served as the director of a number of athletic support services, including event management and staffing, team support and athletic equipment operations.
Buning led the development of a 20-year master plan for $240 million in new and upgraded athletic facilities. He also integrated the department's needs into the Academy's first-ever $220 million fund-raising campaign, resulting in more than $100 million to support athletics.
An Orlando, Fla., native, Buning is a 1981 West Point graduate and earned master's degrees in engineering management from the Missouri University of Science and Technology in 1994 and an MBA from the SMU Cox School of Business in 2011. He holds an executive management diploma from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and a Senior Executive Management Diploma from the Armed Forces Staff College.
During a 24 year Army career in the Corps of Engineers, Buning served three overseas tours and is a decorated combat veteran. He has been awarded the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and three Meritorious Service Medals, as well as the Bronze Order of the deFleury Medal from the U.S. Army Engineer Association.
Buning currently serves as a member of the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Committee, and also belongs to the National Association of College Directors of Athletics and a past member of the Executive Committee. He is a graduate of the D1A Athletic Directors Institute. He also served as a member of the U.S. Modern Pentathlon Board of Director's as the athlete's representative. Buning is a former world class athlete in the pentathlon, having twice qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials and competed in 16 World Cup competitions. He also competed as a swimmer during four years of college.