Ephraim Banda followed defensive coordinator Manny Diaz from Texas (2012-2013) to Mississippi State (2015), and now to the Miami Hurricanes. His position as safeties coach at Miami is his first venture into a coaching assistant role. Banda served as a graduate assistant for three years with the Texas Longhorns before leaving in 2015 for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. While his coaching experience may be limited, he comes with rave reviews and two seasons of working under Manny Diaz.
Ephraim Banda's coaching career began at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. Before hitting the coaching ranks, Banda played as a walk-on for three seasons for the Incarnate Word until suffering a season-ending knee injury in 2010. After the injury, Banda became a student assistant, and after completing his degree, a graduate assistant.
While working at UIW, Banda attended coaching conventions around the state. There he mingled with coaches from across Texas and, eventually, crossed paths with the Texas Longhorns staff. Through recommendations, and a fellow UIW coach joining Mack Brown and the Longhorns, Banda's ties led him to Austin.
Working as a graduate assistant for three years with the Longhorns, under both Mack Brown and Charlie Strong, Banda was given a taste of coaching at an elite FBS level. At Texas, Banda specialized in assisting the defensive backs and special teams, but also contributed to scripting practices and organizing scouting reports.
In 2015, Banda departed from Texas to become defensive quality control for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Reunited with defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, together they led a defense that held opponents to just 23.2 points per game and ranked in the nation's top 10 in redzone defense. As for the secondary, the Bulldogs led the nation in fewest pass plays of 20+ yards allowed.
Thrilled for @CoachBanda getting the safeties job at Miami. Good things happening to good people.— Max Olson (@max_olson) January 4, 2016
Yep, he did it the right way. Worked his tail off for good people. Manny rewarded that. This is how it should happen https://t.co/utdP16q96Z— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) January 4, 2016
His instructions under defensive coordinator Manny Diaz: Prevent the big play and hit-stick, bust...
In Manny Diaz's aggressive 4-3 defense, the safeties are tasked with (1) preventing big plays, (2) providing run support, and occasionally, (3) to blitz. (That's right. Jamal Carter may soon be gunning at opposing quarterbacks and hammering the ball carrier in the backfield. Get excited, 'Canes fans.)
Recruiting: Trappin' out the Banda
Besides lacking coaching experience, he lacks recruiting history as well. However, despite his inexperience, he's taken to the recruiting trail, and social media, with a worthy pitch: He wants the next Ed Reed and Bennie Blades at Miami.
In his short time with Miami, Banda's already crisscrossed Florida to meet with Hurricanes commits, recruits, and future prospects. Besides holding down the state, he's made trips to Louisiana and Georgia, and assisted on official visit weekends.
And beginning last night, him and the rest of the staff are en route to hit up more targets for the ‘Canes.
For Mark Richt and the Hurricanes, they maneuvered themselves into the best possible position with Ephraim Banda. With years of cutting his teeth at Power 5 programs, Banda was poised to make the jump to a coaching assistant role. However, his natural job progression would've likely seen him begin as a coaching assistant at a lower-level program. In Mark Richt's decision to limit Banda's responsibilities by divvying up the secondary between him and Mike Rumph, the Hurricanes can afford to take a risk on Banda. In this condition, neither party is giving up (Miami) or taking on (Ephraim Banda) too much.
With untapped coaching and recruiting potential in Ephraim Banda and Mike Rumph, the Hurricanes found two weapons that, in the long run, could both be special. As for today, they are both solid choices to coach at Miami, and Banda's experience with Manny Diaz will help his transition.
Stay tuned to State of the U as we roll out more coaching profiles, season reviews, and recruiting updates as we race to National Signing Day.