Veteran special teams coordinator and former All-Pacific 10 Conference punter Jeff Banks is in his second season at Texas A&M where he oversees the Aggies’ special teams and coaches the tight ends.
Banks’ influence in his first season was evident with the development of punter Drew Kaser and placekicker Josh Lambo. In 2013 Kaser broke the A&M record with a 47.4 punt average while being named a first-team All-American and being a finalist for the Ray Guy Award. Lambo steadied the Aggies’ inconsistent FG and PAT attempts after taking over the placekicker duties in game four by connecting on 80 percent of his field goal kicks and 50-of-51 PATs. The Aggies also blocked an SEC-high three kicks, ranked third in net punting (39.4) and second in KO return defense (18.3).
Banks has deep connections to one of head coach Kevin Sumlin’s coaching mentors, Mike Price, both as a player at Washington State and an assistant coach at UTEP. Banks was at UTEP from 2004 to 2012 where he served as special teams coordinator and also coached the running backs and punters.
During his time in El Paso, Banks oversaw one of the top special teams units in Conference USA as the Miners led the league in special teams statistics in 2011 and 2012. In 2012, UTEP led the conference in net punting with a 40.1 average (No. 11 nationally) and punt return defense (No. 4 nationally) with a 3.1 yard average. The Miners allowed just 65 yards on 21 opponent punt returns. The Miners also ranked No. 3 in kickoff returns (23.8 average) and No. 4 in punt returns (10.1 average). UTEP blocked four kicks (two punts and two field goals) and returned a pair of kickoffs for touchdowns.
In 2011, UTEP led C-USA in punting (40.5 avg.) and ranked second in kickoff returns (26.3 avg.), third in kickoff coverage (44.4 avg.) and seventh in punt returns (10.0 avg.). The Miners rated fourth nationally in kickoff returns and sixth in net punting, and the team blocked three punts and also executed successful fake kicks for first downs in road games against New Mexico State, USF and UCF.
In 2009 a Banks pupil, running back Donald Buckram, broke UTEP’s season rushing record that had stood for over 60 years by rushing for 1,594 yards. He led Conference USA in rushing and ranked fourth nationally (132.8 per game).
Banks helped lead the Miners to three bowl games in his nine seasons and coached six players that were drafted or signed NFL contracts.
Previously, Banks served as an assistant coach at Idaho State from 2000-03 where he was the special teams coordinator, the recruiting coordinator and coached the running backs and kickers. He helped ISU to two eight-win seasons and the 2002 Big Sky Championship. Idaho State led the nation in net punting twice in his three seasons.
He got his coaching start as a graduate assistant under Price at Washington State from 1998-2000, where he worked with the offense and the punters and kickers.
As a player, Banks was a two-time all-conference punter for Washington State, posting a 42.8 average as a junior and 43.4 as a senior. As a senior, he led the Pac 10 and was No. 15 nationally while helping the Cougars go 10-2 and earn an invitation to the Rose Bowl. Banks was selected to participate in the Senior Bowl. Banks earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from Washington State in 1999 and he is three credits short of completing his master’s in athletic administration.
He started his collegiate career at Citrus College in Glendora, Calif., where he was a first team all-conference kicker and punter. Banks played his prep ball at Bishop Amat High School in La Puente, Calif. He lettered in soccer as well as football. He was a member of Bishop Amat’s state championship team, going 51-for-51 on extra point attempts.
Banks and his wife, Kori, have a daughter, Sydnei, and two sons, Gage and Tanner.