Charles Bankins | Old Dominion University

Team: Old Dominion University
Organization: NCAA Football
Position: Special Teams Coor./RB Coach
Hometown: Hollywood, Maryland

Biography

Charles Bankins begins his fourth season at Old Dominion as running backs coach and special teams coordinator.

Working with the running backs and special teams, Bankins helped Kesean Strong finish seven in Conference USA in rushing with 55.4 yards per game. Strong and Jeremy Cox battled injuries all year and combined for 952-yards and 14 touchdowns.

In ODU's historic upset over No. 13 Virginia Tech, Cox rushed for 130-yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns.

ODU special teams have shown steady improvement under Bankins the last three seasons, as the Monarchs finished No. 16 in FBS in punt return defense in 2018, while ranking No. 31 in punt return average.

Isaiah Harper earned first-team All-Conference USA honors at kick returner and second-team All-C-USA at punt returner.

In his second year at Old Dominion, Bankins helped Ray Lawry and Jeremy Cox battle through injuries to combine to rush for 1,363 yards and 11 touchdowns, while Cox was fourth on the team with 20 receptions.

Bankins continued to improve the special teams unit, including helping Isaiah Harper be named the 2017 Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year. Harper returned three kickoffs for touchdowns, including two at North Texas. Harper's 235 kick return yards at NT was the most by an FBS player in a game this season.

ODU led Conference USA in kick return yards, while Darrell Brown led Conference USA in punt return average to earn first-team All-C-USA at punt returner.

True freshman Nick Rice was 15-for-20 on field goal attempts with a long of 48, and was 27-for-27 on extra points. Sophomore Bailey Cate averaged 40.5 yards per punt with 17 inside the 20.

Bankins helped running back Ray Lawry break his own single-season rushing record with 1,255 yards, while Jeremy Cox rushed for a career-best 732 yards and a team-best 14 touchdowns. ODU set the single-season rushing record with 2,559 yards, with 2,225 of that coming from the running backs.

Lawry and Cox also combined to catch 22 passes out of the backfield for 252 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Lawry caught a 59-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the season, while Cox had ODU's longest play of the season, an 84-yard touchdown catch at Florida Atlantic.

Bankins' special teams units were much improved from a season before, as ODU finished fourth in Conference USA in punt and kickoff return average, and finished in the top-10 in the country in kick return defense.

Kicker Brad Davis, punter Bailey Cate and punt returner Darrell Brown all earned C-USA All Freshman Team honors.

Bankins was the special teams coach at Vanderbilt the last five seasons and coached the running backs the last two seasons while coaching tight ends the previous three years.  Bankins’ kickoff coverage units ranked in the top-15 nationally twice while three of his specialists earned All-SEC accolades.  This past season, sophomore running back Ralph Webb rushed for the second-most yards in school history and the most ever by a sophomore.

“I’m excited for a chance to come back home to Hampton Roads. I lived in Hampton when my dad was at Fort Monroe.  It’s great to finally have an FBS program in a great recruiting area like Hampton Roads and I’m really looking forward to being able to recruit that talent and bring ODU Conference USA Championships,” Bankins said. “I have followed what Coach Wilder has done at ODU, laying a great foundation and I’m happy to be a part of it and I’m looking forward to this great opportunity.”

Prior to his tenure at Vanderbilt, Bankins spent two years at Maryland as the tight ends and special teams coordinator.  The Terps’ punt returner Tony Logan earned first-team All-ACC accolades and finished third in the country in punt return average while former NFL second round draft pink Torrey Smith earned All-ACC honors as a kick returner.  Bankins helped the University of Richmond to an FCS National Championship in 2008 and a CAA Championship in 2007 while coaching the special teams and running backs.  Before that he was the offensive coordinator at Hampton for the 2006 season, his second time with the school and was the assistant special teams coach for the St. Louis Rams under Mike Martz in 2005.

Bankins was at Hampton the five prior seasons, helping the Pirates to a MEAC Championship in 2004.  He also worked with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Green Bay Packers as a special teams intern.  He began his coaching career as a wide receivers coach at Eastern Kentucky and helping them to an Ohio Valley Conference Championship before heading to Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) and helping them to the Division II semifinals. 

Bankins played running back at James Madison from 1990-92 and helped the Dukes to the 1991 I-AA playoffs.

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