NORMAL — Former Illinois State all-conference defensive back Mike Banks was named a Redbird assistant coach Tuesday by head coach Brock Spack.

Banks has been a graduate manager the past two years with the ISU staff while working toward his master’s degree. He will work with the Redbird outside linebackers.

“Mike has shown in his time as a player here at Illinois State, and over the past two seasons as a graduate manager for our staff, that he is very professional, hard-working and intelligent,” Spack said. “Mike is one of the best players we’ve had suit up for us in our time here at ISU and he has always been extremely goal-oriented.

“He never shied away from the fact that he wanted to be a football coach and he has done everything we have asked him to do here over the past two seasons. He is familiar with the culture here and knows the Redbird way.”

Banks was a four-year letterwinner at ISU from 2011-14 as a cornerback and started all 50 career games he played.

A shift of Corey Shandrick's duties from offensive assistant to a quality control role along with the move of Banks means the Redbirds now have five assistants on both offense and defense. The ratio was 6-4 offense in 2017. 

A 2014 All-Missouri Valley Football Conference second-team selection, Banks helped the Redbirds to the FCS National Championship game as a senior and ranked 17th in the FCS that season with 19 passes defended. He is third all-time at ISU in career passes defended with 46.

“It’s a great honor and privilege, not only to have had the opportunity to play for Coach Spack, but to now learn and grow as a coach as part of his staff,” Banks said. “When you graduate from Illinois State they tell you that you are a Redbird 4 Life, and I believe there is nothing better than working for your alma mater and helping move the program forward.

“Coach Spack, and all of the coaches who I have worked with in the past as a player or graduate manager, have developed this program into a consistent winner. I look forward to working with this staff, building new relationships and gaining knowledge from them in this new role.”

In his final year with the Redbirds, Banks ranked third on the team with a career-high 93 tackles, broke up 17 passes and intercepted two to help ISU win its first MVFC title since 1999.

Banks received his bachelor’s degree in health education from ISU in December 2015 and is scheduled to receive his master’s in psychology of sport and physical activity in May.

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