Penn State loses another assistant football coach

DONNIE COLLINS
The (Scranton) Times-Tribune (TNS)
Tim Banks

Another offseason of coaching staff turnover will continue on at Penn State.

Tim Banks, the Nittany Lions' co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach the last five seasons, is leaving his post for the defensive coordinator's position at the University of Tennessee. Yahoo Sports first reported the move.

Banks' departure will necessitate the third different change on head coach James Franklin's staff this offseason. Last month, Franklin fired offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca, replacing him with former Oklahoma State and Texas offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. On Feb. 1, tight ends coach Tyler Bowen resigned to take the same post with the Jacksonville Jaguars; Penn State later replaced him with former Nittany Lions captain and offensive analyst Ty Howle.

Coincidentally, Banks joined the Penn State staff in January of 2016, taking a spot on Franklin's staff when then-defensive coordinator Bob Shoop bolted for a big-money contract at Tennessee. Under his direction, Penn State had a solid run of success not just when it came to production on the field, but in terms of sending safeties to the NFL.

Troy Apke, Marcus Allen, Nick Scott and Garrett Taylor all played in the NFL after starting for the Nittany Lions during Banks' stay. He also helped guide Lamont Wade during his transition from cornerback to safety, and molded former Lackawanna College standout Jaquan Brisker into one of the higher-impact safeties in the Big Ten last season.

Brisker finished third on the team in tackles (57), and Wade fifth (37), last season. Penn State's defense forced just eight turnovers, but Banks' safeties played a role in four of them: an interception by Brisker, and a pick and two fumble recoveries for Wade.