Ted Banks, USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame Class of 2000

As coach, creator of road races, and author, University of Texas at El Paso coach Ted Banks’s awards and accomplishments could fill an entire program.

Before his start in the coaching ranks, Banks was a two-year letterman at UCLA. He entered his senior season (1956) with a best mark of 9:40.7 in the two mile. In 1956, under Bruin head coach Elvin C. ‘Ducky’ Drake, UCLA won the school’s first conference (Pacific Coast Conference) and NCAA championships.

As Director of Track & Field at the University of Texas at El Paso from 1972-81, his victories included 17 NCAA championships (six cross country, six indoor, and five outdoor), 27 WAC Championships, 47 NCAA individual champions, and 189 All American honors. Those NCAA championships included the 1981 NCAA cross country title, in which the Miners set a record-low score of 17, only two points shy of a “perfect” team score, and NCAA triple crowns during the 1979-80 and 1980-81 school years. NCAA champion athletes he coached include Greg Joy, Peter Farmer, Bert Cameron, Suleiman Nyambuim, and Milt Ottey.

During this time, he also published two books, How to Teach Track & Field and Over the Hill and Dale. Most coaches would be proud to have such accomplishments at the end of their careers, but for Banks, they were only the beginning. From 1982-88, he directed promotional programs at major road races and marathons, including the Boston and New York marathons. As National Director of Running Promotions for Converse, Inc., he developed the company’s first line of track & field shoes.

His last coaching endeavor was at Riverside Community College in Riverside, California, where he coached the team to six state and twelve conference championships. For his accomplishments, he was inducted into the UTEP Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002.

Banks passed away in 2016 at the age of 82.