Ephraim Banda is entering his fifth season as the Hurricanes’ safeties coach and second as co-defensive coordinator.
In 2019, Banda helped coordinate a defense that ranked No. 13 nationally in total defense (yards allowed per game) and No. 12 nationally in yards per play allowed. In addition, the Hurricanes ranked No. 4 nationally in tackles for loss, No. 6 in sacks, No. 10 in run defense, No. 16 in red zone defense and No. 18 in pass defense.
After Miami’s defense delivered another standout season in 2018, Banda was elevated to the position of co-defensive coordinator on Dec. 14, 2018. The Hurricanes ranked No. 4 in total defense and ranked No. 1 in several categories, including tackles for loss, third down conversion percentage and passing yards allowed.
Safeties Jaquan Johnson (second team) and Sheldrick Redwine (honorable mention) both earned all-conference honors, while cornerback Trajan Bandy was a third-team All-ACC selection.
Continuing the impressive trends from Banda’s first year on the defensive staff, the Hurricanes ranked among the nation’s leaders in several defensive categories in 2017, including first nationally in team sacks, third nationally in tackles for loss, third nationally in turnovers gained, ninth nationally in opponent yards per play and 15th nationally in passes intercepted.
Three members of the Hurricanes secondary earned All-ACC recognition in 2017: Michael Jackson (second team), Johnson (second team) and Malek Young (honorable mention).
Under Banda’s watch, Johnson was named ACC Defensive Back of the Week three straight weeks and was one of just four defensive players nationwide to be named a Walter Camp Player of the Year semifinalist. Johnson was named to the All-America Second Team by both Sports Illustrated and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).
Miami’s defensive backfield enjoyed vast improvements under Banda’s watch in 2016, with senior Rayshawn Jenkins earning ACSMA All-ACC honorable mention recognition.
At the conclusion of the 2016 season, Miami was ranked No. 20 nationally in total defense (up from No. 69 the previous year), No. 9 in yards per play (No. 86 in 2015), No. 12 in scoring defense (No. 77 in 2015), No. 5 in tackles for loss (No. 105 in 2015), No. 22 in team sacks (No. 70 in 2015) and tied for No. 8 in defensive touchdowns allowed (No. 61 in 2015).
Banda spent the 2015 season at Mississippi State, where he served as a defensive assistant under current Hurricanes defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.
In 2015, Mississippi State posted a 9-4 record, including a victory over NC State in the Belk Bowl. The Bulldogs’ defensive unit held opponents to just 23.2 points per game and ranked in the nation’s top 10 in red zone defense.
In addition, MSU led the nation in fewest pass plays of 20+ yards allowed in 2015, surrendering only 24. Despite several key injuries to seniors, the secondary ranked fourth in the Southeastern Conference in passes defended with 63.
Before arriving in Starkville, Banda spent three seasons as a defensive graduate assistant at Texas from 2012-15. He filled a variety of roles, from scripting practices and organizing scouting reports to assisting with the defensive backs. He also worked with both head coach Charlie Strong and former head coach Mack Brown.
Banda was an instrumental part of the Longhorns defense staff during his time at Texas.
In 2014, Banda’s assistance to the defensive staff guided the Longhorns to the nation’s 24th-best ranking in total defense. The 2014 Texas squad also ranked No. 1 in scoring defense, No. 2 in total defense, No. 1 pass defense and No. 1 pass defense efficiency.
In 2012, Banda assisted with the game plan that allowed Texas to set an Alamo Bowl record with 10 sacks in the win over No. 13 Oregon State.
Under Banda’s assistance in 2012, Texas also featured a defensive unit that allowed just 212.0 passing yards per game, while facing five of the nation’s top-10 passing offenses that season.
In addition to his work on defense, Banda also assisted with the Longhorn special teams.
During his tenure at Texas, Banda coached first-round NFL Draft pick Kenny Vaccaro.
Banda is a graduate of Incarnate Word in San Antonio. He got his coaching start there after his playing days in 2011.
Banda and his wife Crystal have a son, Darian, and a daughter, Aamani.