Gene Banks resigned today as the head coach of the Smith Golden Eagles boys varsity basketball team. Coach Brian Jones, the JV coach, will take over the reigns as the head varsity coach for the remainder of the 2007/2008 season. Smith was (1-12) under Coach Gene Banks and the Golden Eagles are coming off a 46-42 Metro 4-A conference loss to Northwest Guilford back on Tuesday.
Banks had previously coached on the NCAA DII AND DIII levels and had coached international ball overseas. Banks was an high school All-American player back in the 1970’s up in Phialdelphia and then came to Duke were he was also named to several All-American teams. In the pros Banks played for the San Antonio Spurs and a few other NBA teams before he closed out his playing career in Europe where he made some pretty good money. Injuries caused Banks to hang up his professional run sooner than he would have liked and then he moved back to North Caroliona after his playing days were through.
Banks was once the head women’s basketball coach and Athletic Director at Bennett College and he had always aspired to be a head coach on the high school level. Banks had previously applied for the boys head job at Page and was an assistant coach for the girls varsity at Western Guilford where his daughter India played for the Hornets.
Gene Banks wife died a few years back and he worked hard to raise his 2 daughters. Banks mother passed away during the recent Christmas holidays up in Philadelphia.
Gene Banks told Jason Gaertner of the News and Record back on Tuesday night after the 46-42 loss to Northwest Guilford that coaching high school for the first time was challenging. “Coaching high school is a different animal”, Banks said. “You have to deal with parents and the kids’ attitudes. Sometimes, out of immaturity, players will test you in many ways.”
Banks said he admired long-time coaching legends David Price of Dudley and Freddy Johnson of Greensboro Day School, two men that have been at it long time and men that have experienced much success.
When Gene Banks missed a number of games early in the year(two for being ejected after multiple technical fouls and others to deal with his mom’s funeral) former Lexington HS and UNCG Spartan star Eric Cuthrell ran the Smith Golden Eagles. Now from what we have been told, Coach Jones, the boys JV coach is taking over for the rest of the way and Coach Hairston will be his assistant.
Gene Banks has called it quits at Smith High School, Thursday January 10, 2008.