Release courtesy of MSOE athletics communications
MILWAUKEE, Wis. --- It is with a heavy heart that MSOE Raiders Athletics shares the news of men's soccer head coach Jimmy Banks losing his battle with cancer.
Jimmy was brought into the Red & White family in 1999 and was one of the longest-tenured coaches at the school history. In Banks' 20 seasons guiding the program, the Raiders won 201 games, including nearly 64 percent of conference matches. MSOE finished in the top three in the conference standings 11 times, highlighted by two Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference regular-season titles - a share of the 2014 crown and an outright title last fall - and back-to-back NACC Tournament championships in 2014 and 2015. The Raiders also posted three runner-up finishes (2009, 2012, 2015) and played in four other NACC/NAC Tournament finals (2009, 2011, 2017, 2018). For his efforts, Jimmy was selected by his peers as NACC Coach of the Year on three occasions, including last season (2009, 2014, 2018). Jimmy's 201 wins is by far the most in the program's history by a single coach, accounting for over half of the wins in the programs 36 seasons. One would have to go all the way back to 2006 to see a Banks coached team with a losing record.
Jimmy was one of the most talented soccer players to come out of Milwaukee. In 1981, he was an All-American forward at Custer High School—the first prep All-American in state history. While at UW-Parkside, he was an NSCAA NAIA All-American selection in 1983. After transferring to UW-Milwaukee, he was an NSCAA All-Midwest Region selection in 1985 and 1986.
After college, Banks was a member of the United States National Team, making 36 appearances for the U.S. The highlight of his international career was making two starts at the 1990 World Cup as a defender.
Professionally, Banks was the No. 1 selection in 1987 of both the Major Indoor Soccer League, by the Kansas City Comets, and the National Professional Soccer League, by the Milwaukee Wave. He chose to stay home with the Wave starring for the franchise from 1987-93 and was inducted into the franchise hall of fame in 2013.
In 2002, he was among the honorees in the "Decade of U.S. Soccer" celebration held in the nation's capital. Banks is an inducted member of UW-Milwaukee Athletics, Custer High School and Wisconsin Soccer Association's Halls of Fame. Banks also believed in community, giving back to Milwaukee by developing urban youth soccer programs.
Our hearts are heavy, and our thoughts are with the Banks family during this difficult time. Below is an official statement from the MSOE athletic department:
"Jimmy Banks has long been a soccer icon in Wisconsin while having his impact reaching nationwide. His love and passion for the game of soccer was evident in everything he did and his role in expanding access to the sport in his community will be his lasting legacy. We at MSOE were fortunate to have Jimmy build our men's soccer team into a championship-caliber program that found success on the field while maintaining the values or our department, the university, and Division III athletics off of it.
This is a great loss for the soccer community in Milwaukee and well beyond."