Banks, Ted

Theodore "Ted" Banks, Jr.

May 31, 1934 - August 25, 2016

Theodore H. Banks Jr. passed away in his home in Gunter, Texas on August 25, 2016 due to complications of gastric cancer. He was 82 years old. He is survived by Judy, his wife of 53 years; his daughter Jennifer Nix and her husband WC Nix; sons Ted and Tom; grandson Hunter Nix; granddaughter Jade Nix; brothers Randy, Bruce, Byron, and George Banks; sisters Melinda Banks, Melissa Hudson, Megan Caskey and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents Cordelia and Theodore Banks Sr.; stepmother Mary Belle Banks; sisters Maggie Hernandez and Molly Jones.

Ted grew up in Southern California and graduated from Mark Keppel High School, Mt. San Antonio Community College and UCLA. He ran cross country and track at all three schools, distinguishing himself and earning numerous honors. This experience led him into a career as an educator and coach. Ted began his career at Alhambra High School in 1959, followed by subsequent track and cross country coaching positions at La Puente High School, La Habra High School, Pasadena City College, San Jose State University, Mount Miguel High School, and Long Beach State University before becoming the Director of Track and Field at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). While at UTEP from 1973 to 1981, Ted's teams won 17 NCAA Championships (six cross country, six indoor track and five outdoor track) and 27 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championships, his athletes distinguishing themselves as individual NCAA champions 47 times and earning 189 All-American honors. Those NCAA team championships include the 1981 cross country title, in which the Miners set a record-low score of 17, only two points shy of a "perfect" team score, and Triple Crowns (winning the cross country, indoor and outdoor track titles in a single academic year) in 1979-80 and 1980-81.

From 1982 to 1988, Ted served as the national Director of Running Promotions for Converse, helping to develop the company's first line of running shoes and directing promotions at major track meets, road races, marathons, and the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, for which Converse was an official sponsor. His last professional coaching endeavor was at Riverside Community College where he coached the Tigers to six state and twelve conference championships form 1988 to 1994. After retiring, Ted continued to coach a number of young athletes and mentor high school and college coaches. He has been inducted into the Alhambra High School Athletic Hall of Fame, the Riverside Community College Athletic Hall of Fame, the University of Texas at El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame, the United States Track Coaches Hall of Fame, the UTEP Track Hall of Fame, and the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 16, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. at Turrentine Jackson Morrow Funeral Home in Allen, Texas. The family suggests memorial contributions may be made to or to a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be offered at

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Coach Banks worked with me in High School at Mt. Miguel for 1 year. The influence he had on my life has lasted me a lifetime...he helped me believe in myself and that I could do anything with hard honest work and growing passion for whatever I do. Thank you Coach I will never forget you! You always called me Tiger Ed! Mic Fahey, October 20, 2017 Wow! What an awesome example of a Man, Dad, Husband, Friend, Coach and Mentor. My life has been mentored and molded through God's knitting process throughout my life by great Men such as Ted. I know he touched and influenced many lives in a very positive way. He had a great Can Do, Get it Done and Every Wall can be Climbed attitude! His championship results speak volumes about his leadership qualities. If my life could reflect half of those qualities and gifts, I would consider myself successful. He was a giant of a man in my life. It was a gift from God that put Ted in my life. Judy, we were blessed with his presence. I look forward to seeing him again when I'm called Home. I pray for comfort and many blessing upon Judy and the family!
Scott Hooks, July 13, 2017 Coach Banks was easy to speak with and showed genuine interest in all the guys on the track team whether you were a superstar or not. I walked on at UTEP the fall of 1979 when there were great runners there. Coach Banks walked around barefoot and chewed on a blade of grass while giving out daily workouts. He could sit in the stands and have 3 stop watches going at the same time while we ran. He was an expert at getting the most out of you but he would never push you over your limit- he really knew talent levels well. I got hurt at the end of my freshman year and when I returned in the fall of 1980 my left leg just wouldn't heal. I would go visit coach at his home not far from school and he would always encourage me to try and continue running. I never forgot how down to earth he was even with all his success. I can say I liked him allot and he was always smiling. Marvin Merriweather, October 4, 2016 Ted will always be remembered as a former Mountie and fellow colleague in the California prep and Community College coaching profession.. He did a great job wherever he went and influenced the lives of hundreds of young athletes in the process. It was time for Ted to get some well deserved rest, and happily in the arms of the Good Lord. May his wonderful family have lasting memories of your husband, dad, grandfather, and great grandfather….. otherwise known as "Coach Banks". Sincerely, Don Ruh (Mt.SAC T&F and CC coach 1963-1994 (as well as Director of the Mt.SAC Relays) Don Ruh, September 23, 2016 Great Coach, Friend, Father and Husband, he helped so many of along the way. He help Mike get his first coaching job out of College (La Puente H.S.) for which we will always be thankful. We Have enjoyed following Ted's successful career. We have known Ted and Judy for over sixty years and loved them both. We have many shared memories from being in each others wedding, card games and family activities. Ted will always be in our hearts. Margie & Mike Quinn
Mike and Margie Quinn, September 21, 2016 Dear Judy and Banks family, I have two stories of Coach Banks, in 1993 when coach Banks was recruiting me for UTEP, he actually gave up that the home town El Paso boy was going to leave for another school. He wanted to build a "winning program" was his words. Later at the beginning of the Cross Country season he called Wilson Waigwe and myself into his office. He said you both aren't in trouble. "WE" need to talk about winning. Coach sat behind his desk and looked at us both and proceeded to tell us the plan for the future and recruiting. Coach Banks told us "I we are going to be the best in the NCAA, we will win cross country, indoors and outdoors." Wilson and myself just looked at each other. I raised my hand and coach say yes?.. I responded, when can we quit, that's a big task! Coach Banks just nodded and said lets get to work ok, are you in? We were all in and the UTEP legacy was created. In cross country that year we shocked the nation when we placed 2nd to Oregon at the NCAA Championship. Coming in at 5th outdoors and 1st indoors. This was the foundation for Coach Banks dream of winning becoming a reality. Those that ran for or knew Coach Banks laughed at his superstitions. I still laugh at times just thinking of some of the superstitions he had, such as staying at certain locations where his other teams had been victorious previously. We were going to compete in San Diego at Balboa Park, he knew the motel owner very well. I recall a time clearly when the team was getting our bags out of the cars, while coach was checking us in. A few of us went to a small patch of grass in front of the Motel, it had a 1 foot high white picket fence and there was a grayish statue of a small Terrier dog. Well to our surprise, the terrier we thought was a statue ever so slightly moved! We all jumped back at this statue being alive! During all the commotion, Coach comes out and quickly said "The good luck charm still lives? it's going to be a great meet and we're going to do well!" Needless to say we did and we won! That dog was Coach Banks good luck charm for that location. You'll live forever through all these stories from who had the pleasure of knowing you and have countless other stories. you will live on coach, Tony Zuniga
Tony Zuniga, September 16, 2016 Yellow-colored legal pad. Stop watch. Ted's tools of the trade that bring back so many vivid memories of weekday afternoon workouts at Kidd Field and Madeline Park in El Paso.... Well-worn green jacket. Memories of NCAA Indoor Championships in Detroit... Carefully wrapped "gift" awarded to newcomers to his table with friends at a nightclub...Drink napkins: Used to score NCAA Outdoor Championships one year in advance...Preseason intersquad watermelon runs for the cross country teams...Head sticking out the window to see the road during a snowstorm between Ypslanti and Detroit (and a 360 degree turn thrown in for good measure). ... Turning a sixth-place WAC cross country team into a second-place NCAA finisher one year later (with virtually the same lineup, save one notable addition: Wilson Waigwa)....Competitor beyond coaching. A memorable pole vault competition against Ted McLaughlin. Card game in Detroit that lasted into the early morning...I cherished the occasional light runs, mostly during the cross country season; at times more walking that running...I cherish observing his interaction with the athletes who he coached as well as the assistant coaches over the years...Cherished the great conversations about track and life in general....After I moved to California in 1998, it was amazing to find so many people in our county who had contract with Ted for one reason or another over the years. Amazing the impact that he had....Ted will be missed by many. Derry Eads, September 15, 2016 I am a retired public school teacher, and the summer of 1965 was a long time ago, but I have never forgotten the moment coach Ted Banks called me at home and asked me to join the Pasadena City College cross country team. In high school I had run a 2:02 880 but not run cross country, opting to be a third-string football player. Speaking of mediocrity, I was not much of a student either, hence my default enrollment at PCC when my classmates departed for more prestigious four-year universities. My two years at PCC were the best of my life, and that is thanks to Ted Banks. I have benefited from a long sequence of excellent public school teachers, from elementary to the University of California, and Ted Banks stands apart, as the one who has had by far the most positive effect on my life. He taught me the value of deliberate practice, sustained effort, high standards, and lofty goals. These lessons transcended sports and carried over to my academic improvement. My grades shot up and my whole quality of life improved. He instilled a love for running on trails that has never subsided. Life-long habits were formed that made good health and happiness my normal state. As a teacher, I borrowed his techniques for gradually improving my own skills as well as those of my students. PCC was my gateway to a UCLA degree and a UC Irvine teaching credential. Every time I go for a run in the local hills or beaches I am reminded of my experiences on the PCC team. The memories of our varied runs around the Pasadena area remain clear and nostalgic. Speck, Scruggs, Day, Wolfe, and the rest, I remember. And Coach Banks, with a stopwatch and clipboard, keeping detailed records of every interval, every practice, every individual. We had fun every day, and won championships. I still display the only trophy I ever won, from the Mt. Sac meet. When I saw him in the stands at the California State Track Meet some decades ago he greeted me with a big smile: "Yeah, you ran the half mile." I told him then what I am writing now. I am profoundly grateful that this great man took the initiative 51 years ago to make me a PCC-level athlete and a UC-level scholar. Thanks, Coach Banks, for everything. Joel Harrison, September 13, 2016 Coach Banks, I am so proud that you had faith in me. Together we brought glory to UTEP. You were a father figure to me and my mentor and I will never forget you. Anytime I watch a track meet you come to mind , I can still hear you yelling 'pick it up' , 'stay in a group ' , ' remember the miner pride '. I could always hear your voice above the crowd. You were an awesome coach. And there will never be another like you. You will be sadly missed. Tony Zuniga, September 8, 2016 JUDY AND FAMILY: WE WERE CERTAINLY SADDENED TO HEAR OF TED'S PASSING. HE WAS NOT ONLY AN EXCEPTIONAL COACH AND PERSON, BUT A VERY GOOD FRIEND. HE MADE A VERY POSITIVE IMPACT ON ME. OUR CHILDREN LIKED AND ENJOYED BEING AROUND HIM AND THE FAMILY. ALSO, HIS GREAT STUDENT ATHLETES CERTAINLY ADMIRED AND APPRECIATED HIM AND THE WAY HE TREATED THEM. HE WAS A NATURAL. VERY BEST WISHES NOW AND IN THE FUTURE: ROB, HOWARD, JUSTIN, ANDREA SCHMIDT
Rob Schmidt, September 8, 2016 You all are always in our thoughts and prayers daily. What a privilege it was for us to get to know Coach and Mrs. Banks, after already getting to know their wonderful family. Every time I remember my Mom and Dad, my heart swells with pride and thanksgiving. and I know that you all feel the same way. He is going to be greatly missed, God bless and thank you for sharing Coach with us.......Love you! Tim & Karen Sauntry, September 8, 2016 My Mom, brothers and I want to let you all know how sorry we are to hear of the passing of your husband and Dad, Coach Banks. He had a huge influence not only on us but the entire UTEP community. Coach Banks is the reason we all ran track, wore Converse and attended UTEP track meets. We will never forget him. P.S. The memorial video was lovely! Sincerely, Andrea, Justin, Howard and Rita Schmidt Andrea Schmidt-Brewer, September 8, 2016 I am so grateful Ted was a part of my life. He will always be remembered. My heartfelt condolences to Judy and the family. X Read Gilge, September 5, 2016 It was with great sadness that I read of Coach Banks' passing, what a great coach and what a great man. I first met Coach Banks in 1959 when as a sophomore on the Alhambra High School track team he became my coach. I liked him immediately but learned very quickly he was very serious about getting me in shape - at 15 you don't soon forget 440's in under 60 seconds or they didn't count. I loved that he took an individual approach to each of his runners and pushed each one of us to the limit. He coached me for three years and I left his tutelage with a love of running and the importance of training and staying in shape, things I carry to this day. It wasn't until a few years later and with a greater level of maturity that I realized what an influence he had on me, not only running and training but in lessons applicable to all aspects of my life. I often think of him running from one side of the track at Moor Field to the other hollering at me "pick by the pace hamburger". A simple nudge, but one that always pushed me to do my best, even now. God speed Coach! Tim Munroe, September 5, 2016 PS I really enjoyed the video.. Virginia Bautista , September 5, 2016 To the Banks Family I went to Mark Keppel with Teddy as we called him. He was one of the nicest guys. I will always remember him. He always made me laugh. I am so happy to see that his life was fulfilled. I think everyone loved him. I had heard years ago that he was doing so well in his life / sports career. God Bless your family and now Teddy will be running cross country in heaven. Virginia Bautista Jones Wick, September 5, 2016 Ted wqs my 880/mile relay coach at Pasadena City College 1964,5.You never slacked off on his workouts and he personalized each workout insted of mass instruction.He was the only coach to show me how to relax throughout the race.We won the Western State title which hadn't been done since Jackie Robinson was there !!His head coach at PCC passed a year ago at 96.So glad you had him for a father,husband but didnt have him for workouts!! Fred Ledder Fred Ledder, September 4, 2016 Coach Banks was a major influence in my life. Someone I thought of throughout my entire life. Next to my immediate family Coach was the most influential person to have impacted who I am as an adult. I'm deeply saddened that he is no longer with us, but am so thankful he was a part of my life and I had the chance to know him at all. My condolences to his family. Coach will always be in my heart! Joe Nuzzo, Alhamra High Scool Class of 1962 Joseph Levin Nuzzo, September 4, 2016 Ms. Judy, Jennifer & WC, Ted, Tom my deepest condolences are extended to you and family and friends. Death is so devastating because our Heavenly Father never intended for his earthly family to ever experience such tragedies. However He's provided hope through a promise found at Revelation 21:3, 4. I hope after reading that you find comfort as we await that and many other promises soon to be realized. My sincere prayers are extended to you. Cindi/Florida Cindi, September 4, 2016 So sorry to hear of Ted's passing. While being yet a competitor of Ted I always held him in the highest regard as an athlete and a very nice guy. His coaching greatness and innovations are remarkable. Sid Wing, USC, 55,56, 57.
Sid Wing, September 4, 2016 Coach Banks was my first PE teacher when I attended Alhambra High School in 1960-61. I'll never forget him. He was tough, but he had a side of him that made you laugh and more importantly admire him greatly. Thus, it didn't surprise me that after leaving AHS that he went on to a very successful track and field coaching career...culminating with numerous NCAA Championships at UTEP. He was truly one of a kind and will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace Coach Banks. Richard Whorton, September 4, 2016 Ted was my PE instructor at Alhambra High from 1959 to 1963. He was a great guy and one that all loved and respected. The last time I remember seeing him was with Judy and her parents at Northwoods Inn in San Gabriel one evening. He is missed by all. Robert Coe, September 4, 2016 In the summer of 1990 I was referred to as the tall skinny kid with a lot of raw athletic talent. Like many 18 year old kids I was immature, defiant and had a lot of unnecessary distractions in my life. There is a pivotal point in a young man’s life that will determine his direction into adulthood. I thank God for putting Ted Banks in my life’s path at this pivotal point. I am proud to say that I learned more about life and what it means to be a man from Coach Banks than I did anything else. You had to accept Coach Banks for who he was to learn from him. If you took offense to his tough love/teaching style your opinion of him would be different from my own. Coach would curse you out during practice and before you left to go home he’d buy you a Coke, offer you a toothpick, pat you on the back and tell you what you did right and what you did wrong. I remember one thing vividly about Coach Banks…He HATED repeating himself! If he had to tell you something more than once you were not going to like the not so friendly reminders. The lesson I took away from this was that we are not promised 2nd and 3rd attempts in life so stay ready for when your name is called and make the most of the opportunities in front of you. I am forever grateful for having Ted Banks as a coach, mentor, father figure and friend.
Jayson Duff RCC 1990-1992, September 2, 2016
Ted was a both a friend and a mentor. It saddens me to hear of his passing. Ted was a great leader of men and taught me so much about life and coaching. Most of all I remember his friendship and I looked up to him. I think some of the best days of my life were spent on the athletic field with Ted. He was a pleasure to be around and it was amazing to help and learn from the best as he prepared his teams at Riverside. They were special teams to Ted as his son was a high jumper. To Jennifer, Ted, and Tom I am sorry for the loss of your father in his passing. For Judy you were always warm and kind and the doors of your home open to the young men Ted walked through them and you invited us into your lives. I am priviliged to be one of them and I was always appreciative and now sincerely sorry for your loss. Thoughts of Ted and your family have always stayed me with me in my travels, and always will. Dave Murphy Auckland, NZ -former Athletics Coach Riverside CC
Dave Murphy, September 2, 2016 Thanks coach Banks for recruiting me to UTEP! If it was not for you I would not be where I am today. You are and will always be a Legend in the Track/Cross Country World. Condolences to the Coach Ted Banks family. Thank You for sharing him with America. Sincerely, Norbert Elliott Associate Head Coach Purdue University Norbert Elliott, September 1, 2016 Coach was a great influence on my life. He will be truly missed and never forgotten . Scott Hanes, September 1, 2016 Judy, I'm so sorry for your loss. But we know Ted is the winner, I hope you are doing well. God bless you and your family. Barbara Wheeler Smith, August 31, 2016 Such a great loss of a special person. The video is wonderful. Remembering your family in my prayers. Brenda Wheeler, August 31, 2016 Coach Banks was someone that would go out of his way to help a person. I will always remember the first time I met him. It was at the Texas Relays in Austin. My boys and I were there and I saw Coach Banks there in the stands and I went down to meet him. He acted like he had known me all my life. We talked about the team and our families and then he asked me where we were staying and I told him that we were camping out on the river, he said that we could stay in the motel that the team was staying . He moved some of the players into another room and we stayed in their room. When my wife died Coach and his family took me and my two boys that were still at home and treated us like family. He made sure that my family had shoes and wind suits . The best thing that he did was to let me know that I had a friend. My family will always remember Coach Banks and his family. Aaron Cranford always a Miner
Aaron Cranford, August 31, 2016 It was truly an honor and privilege getting to know, and spend time with, "Coach Banks" and your family. Seeing the pictures in memory provide a great example of how full of life and heart his was, and how his legacy will forever live on in our hearts. My thoughts and prayers are with you! Deepest sympathies, Renee Renee Griffin, August 31, 2016 I am the Principal of La Puente High School (Alumni, 1990). The Warrior family sends our prayers to you and your family. We are sorry for the loss. Fernando Fernando Sanchez Jr., August 31, 2016 Hi Judy: I was very sorry to hear about Ted's passing, even though I know from Joanie that in some ways it was a blessing. I don't care how much you expect something like this, it's never easy. My heart goes out to you and your family for your loss. I haven's seen you or Ted for years, but I will always fondly remember the times that we spent together many years ago. Even though Ted was on the phone a lot, he had a great sense of humor, and was fun to be around. Even though I knew how great of a coach he was, it took reading the obituary to understand just how great he was. Wow! he and his teams won everything! As you know, my wife Sandy and I live in San Jose, very close to SJSU, where they've just reinstated their men's track team and vow to recreate 'Speed City'. There's also a huge statue commemorating John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the '68 Olympics. Ted was there, right in the middle of it, I'm pretty sure. Anyhow, my deepest sympathies go out to you and your family. Fondly, Rick Rick Holden, August 31, 2016