Is there any (out of universe) connection between the in many ways similar characters Buck Rogers (1978) and Starbuck (Battlestar Galactica, same year)? E.g. same writers who just liked the name, a character developed for one franchise instead being used or reused in another, a reference to a real-world person named Buck famous in the late 1970s?
The character "Buck Rogers" is rather much older than 1978. The television program is an adaptation of a character from the 1928 story Armageddon 2419 A.D., and more directly, of the ensuing comic strip Buck Rogers in the 25th Century A.D., starting in 1929.
The show moves the story a bit into modern times (most prior adaptations had Rogers get caught in a mine and rendered unconscious by some unknown gas), but the general idea is the same. William Rogers is a from the 20th Century, usually former or current military, and somehow gets stuck in a state of suspended animation for about 500 years. He then awakens and quickly gets himself involved in the political or military events of the future.
The nickname "Buck" was apparently a rather popular one at the turn of the century, judging by the very long list of people with that nickname on Wikipedia. The list includes, among other things, a former President.
The character of Starbuck, in Battlestar Galactica, was named after the first mate of the Pequod in Moby Dick, which was published in 1851.