New Football Coach Promises Wins
By Garrett Glaeser, Sports Editor
Gettysburg College formally welcomed its new head football coach, Maurice “Moe” Banks in a press conference held Tuesday afternoon.
Banks comes to Gettysburg as the program’s 26th coach by way of the University of Pennsylvania, where he coached outside linebackers for one season. Previously he coached at his alma mater Georgetown for five seasons.
Executive Director of Athletics Mike Mattia said in his opening remarks the position at Gettysburg drew a pool of applicants from a national search and that the level of interest was indicative of the nature of the institution that places high value on learning as well as athletic achievement.
Banks, according to Mattia, stood apart in that crowded field of qualified coaches in his competitiveness and “desire to educate the athlete beyond football,” concluding that “he’s going to win us a lot of football games.”
Banks built on those themes in his remarks.
“It’s an honor to be entrusted with the program,” said Banks upon taking the podium. He continued to say that the support from his family and friends was crucial in the hiring process. However, Banks also admitted that he was “slightly nervous” in that all his prior coaching experience has come at the assistant level, remarking, “it’s a different realm to run an entire program.”
Banks described it “an honor” and “not something to take lightly” to be the program’s first African American head coach in its more than 125 year history. He further elaborated that his position means a little more in Gettysburg, saying, “it’s inspirational to coach football at this place.”
Questions from FOX 43, the only media outlet in attendance besides The Gettysburgian, and the Office of Athletic Communications mainly centered around the role of recruiting. Director of Athletic Communications Corey Jewart asked Banks what message he plans to send to those current recruits who were waiting the for hiring decision before making their choice.
“We’re going to win some football games,” Banks said in reply. “We’re pushing to win the Centennial Conference Championship.”
Banks also said that he wanted to focus on the greater Gettysburg area to draw in recruits, commenting that anyone in driving distance should be a target as potentially a future student athlete.
Banks continued to say that winning football games meant “winning in the classroom, the weight room, and the training room,” emphasizing that he wanted his players to know that “it means something to lose.”
Aside from four consecutive losing seasons, one of the team’s struggles of late has been to retain players on the team from their first through their senior years. How Banks addresses this issue may largely dictate the success of the team’s on field performance.
“It starts with explaining what everyone’s role is and being direct about that role. Showing guys how they fit will dictate the team’s success,” said Banks.
He continued to say that obviously on a football team with such a large roster, not everyone can expect to play, but it is important for each player to recognize how they can contribute to the team on the practice field, in the film room, and outside of football.
Jewart, the Athletic Communications Director, was not sure when Banks will start full time.
Following the press conference, the football team met Banks as a group.