LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell associate athletic director for sports medicine Mark Keppler, or “Kep” as he is more commonly known to generations of Bucknell student-athletes, coaches and staff, will retire on Dec. 31, 2016, after 31 years of service to the University. One of only two head athletic trainers the Bison program has had since 1948 along with Bucknell Athletics Hall of Famer Hal Biggs, Keppler arrived in Lewisburg in the spring of 1986 and has overseen a robust athletic training and sports medicine program.

"I want to thank Mark Keppler for his 31 years of service to Bison Athletics," said director of athletics and recreation John Hardt. "Over the last three decades, Mark has tirelessly provided quality athletic training care to countless Bucknell student-athletes, which in turn has had a direct impact on our teams' successful on-field performances. Mark has always been very highly regarded within his industry, and we congratulate him and wish him the best of luck in his retirement.”

Before coming to Bucknell, Keppler served as the head athletic trainer at Carnegie Mellon University for 11 years. He is a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association and Pennsylvania Athletic Training Society (PATS).

From 1982-84 he served as president of PATS, and from 1984-97 he served with the Athletic Training Advisory Commission to the State Board of Physical Therapy. He has recently served as the Convention Chair for PATS and was inducted into that organization's Hall of Fame in June 2006.

The latest in a long line of awards for Keppler came in 2013, when he was named the Trainer of the Year by the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Football Foundation.

Keppler is a 1973 graduate of Florida State University and holds a master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

After working with the football program for his first three years at Bucknell, Keppler moved to the fieldhouse training room to coordinate the athletic training office for the entire athletic department. In the fall of 1999, he once again took over as the primary football athletic trainer, in addition to supervising the athletic training office operations and staff.

Keppler and his wife, Wanda, reside in Lewisburg and are the parents of adult daughters Sarah and Reta.

A national search for Keppler’s successor is underway. The position is currently posted at jobs.bucknell.edu.