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Coaching Profile: Ephraim Banda

An unlikely journey from bartending in Texas to Safety’s Coach at the U.

NCAA Football: Miami at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Ephraim Banda started his coaching career in 2011 after his playing days at Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas where he bartended at nights to pay for his tuition since he did not have a scholarship. He then went on to spend 2012-2014 with the Texas Longhorns as a defensive graduate assistant where he would assist in scripting practices and organizing scouting reports for both Mack Brown and Charlie Strong.

Manny Diaz came knocking in 2015 when he took over as the defensive coordinator at Mississippi State and brought Banda over as a defensive assistant where together they helped lead a defense that allowed just 23.2 points per game and finished top-10 in red-zone defense.

When Manny Diaz brought Banda over to Miami in 2016, there was an immediate and drastic improvement in the performance of the Hurricanes defense. Banda was crucial in developing Rayshawn Jenkins from an average role player to an All-ACC Honorable Mention and an eventual fourth round pick by the Los Angeles Chargers.

More recently, Jaquan Johnson received ACC Defensive Back of the Week in three straight weeks in 2017 under Banda’s watch and was one of just four defensive players to be named a Walter Camp Player of the Year semifinalist. Johnson was also named a Second Team All-American by Sports Illustrated and Second Team All-ACC. Apart from Johnson, Michael Jackson (second team) and Malek Young (honorable mention) were recognized on All-ACC teams.

NCAA Football: Virginia at Miami
Coach Ephraim Banda leaps as he watches S Jaquan Johnson return an interception for a touchdown
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Banda has helped lead one of the most dynamic defenses in all of college football. Last year, he was a major part of a group that helped lead the Hurricanes defense that finished third nationally in turnovers gained and 15th in passes intercepted.

Ephraim Banda now enters his third year as a Miami Hurricane and is a hidden jewel of this coaching staff not only for his on-the-field efforts, but on the recruiting trail as well. The amount of talent that Banda has been able to help bring to Coral Gables cannot and will not be overlooked. He is one of Mark Richt’s aces on the staff and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.