Penn State rounded out its coaching staff Monday morning with the hiring of former Illinois assistant Tim Banks to guide the safeties and serve as co-defensive coordinator.
Banks is coming off a four-year run with the Illini where he served as co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach, the first four of them under the embattled Tim Beckman. The Illinois defense struggled in Banks’ first three years, but showed marked improvement in 2015 (after Beckman was fired).
The Illini finished 15th in the nation in passing yards allowed (184.4) and 21st in pass efficiency defense (112.24) last fall. They were eighth in the Big Ten in scoring defense (23.3 ppg), one slot behind PSU (21.8).
Banks left Illinois after the season to “pursue other interests,” according to Illini head coach Bill Cubit. Turns out those interests are in Happy Valley.
Banks is a 20-year veteran of the college coaching ranks and — as you might expect — crossed paths with PSU head coach James Franklin earlier in their respective careers. They were both assistants at Maryland in the mid-2000s.
“I am excited to have Tim join our Penn State football family,” Franklin said in a release. “Tim and I worked together at Maryland and built a great relationship there. He is a veteran coach with experience as a Big Ten coordinator and has strong Big Ten and regional recruiting ties. He is a fantastic person and will have a strong impact on our players and our program. We would like to welcome Tim and his wife, Robin, to Happy Valley.”
“I am excited about having an opportunity to work with Coach Franklin and his staff,” Banks said. “James is one of the brightest football minds in the country and it was just an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. Growing up in the Midwest, I saw Penn State play on TV almost every weekend and I know the history and tradition that this program has, so this is very much an honor and a humbling experience to join the Penn State family.”
Banks attended Martin Luther King High in Detroit and played his college ball at Central Michigan. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Bowling Green in 1996, and has coached at six other schools along the way.
Tim Banks’ Coaching Experience
2012-15: Illinois – Co-Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach
2010-11: Cincinnati – Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach
2007-09: Central Michigan – Defensive Coordinator
2003-06: Maryland – Defensive Backs Coach (2006); Inside Linebackers Coach (2003-05)
2001-02: Memphis – Defensive Backs Coach (2002); Outside Linebacker Coach (2001)
1999-00: Bowling Green - Defensive Backs Coach (2000); Running Backs Coach (1999)
1997-98: Ferris State - Defensive Backs Coach
1996: Bowling Green – Graduate Assistant