Banks Named RC Field Hockey Coach
Arrives in Roanoke from Muhlenberg (Pa.)
SALEM, Va. --- Roanoke Athletic Director
Scott Allison has hired former Muhlenberg assistant coach Briana
Banks as head coach of the Maroons field hockey program announced
today. It is the fifth coach since winning the programs’
only ODAC Championship in 2002.
“Briana brings with her a wealth of experience at the club, high school and college level,” said Allison. “In particular, her preparation as an NCAA Division I Player and Captain at the University of Maine gives her instant credibility with the student-athletes involved in our field hockey program.”
As a player at the University of Maine, Banks was a four-year starter. She was a recipient of the Scholar-Athlete Achievement Award and a member of the America East Honor Roll during her final two years. As a senior, she was selected team captain. As a junior, she helped lead the Black Bears as high as 16th in the national rankings. She was a member of the ECAC Championship team as a freshman, which included an America East Rookie of the Week award in 1996. Banks concluded her career as part of the NFHCA Division I North/South Senior All-Star Team in 1999.
“I am excited about the opportunity to work with the team and staff at Roanoke,” said Banks. “I’m ready to go in there and help bring the program back to respectability. This program has a storied tradition and I want to show the players a bright future in the sport of field hockey at Roanoke College.”
Banks brings to Roanoke six years of prior coaching experience at both the high school and collegiate level. Banks became a varsity coach at Pennridge (Pa.) High School. She took a 3-17 team her first year to an 8-8-2 record two years later. In 2004 she moved on as varsity coach and health and physical education teacher at Palmerton (Pa.) High School, where she started an indoor and middle school field hockey program.
In 2007, Banks landed a collegiate job as the assistant field hockey coach at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. Her first year saw the Mules finish 8-10, 4-6 in the Centennial Conference. They won four-straight and five of their last six heading into the final week of the season with a .500 mark. Their final two defeats were against teams ranked #3 and #17 in the NFHCA national poll. Their winning streak was highlighted by a 1-0 upset over then-ranked #6 Johns Hopkins.
Last season, she helped guide the Mules to their first winning season since 2007 with a 9-8 mark, 5-5 in conference play. They started off the season winning six of their first eight games in September, with their only two defeats coming in overtime over that span, including the season-opener against #20 William Patterson. Among their highlights were knocking off both #17 Elizabethtown and #10 Johns Hopkins, 1-0. It was the second-straight year the Mules knocked off the nationally-ranked Blue Jays.
“The pedigree she’s earned at Muhlenberg College within one of the nation’s top field hockey conferences, the Centennial Conference, will prove invaluable,” Allison stated. “When it comes to recruiting, she’ll hit the ground running. We’re excited to have Briana get started.”
She will look to restore a program that hasn’t produced a winning season since 2004. Roanoke had a string of 11-striaght winning seasons (1994-2004), which included three conference championship appearances (1999, 2001, 2002) and its only ODAC Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2002. The Maroons have gone winless in the conference tournament over the last five years. Since then, the program has won only 15 games.
She graduated with a degree in kinesiology and physical education from the University of Maine in 2000. Banks made the dean’s list and won the Presidential Academic Achievement Award following her senior year.
The Maroons finished 2-14 last season, 2-5 in the ODAC. They fell in the conference quarterfinals to Washington & Lee. Six of the 14 losses were decided by a single goal. The women return three All-ODAC performers from last season, led by two-time All-ODAC player Lee Sheldon. Goalie Cristina Schicilone was a first-team selection last season and has totaled 249 career saves, currently sixth on the all-time list. Jess Perkins, who led the team in assists as a freshman, was named honorable mention All-ODAC.
Roanoke opens the 2010 season Sept. 1 at home against Frostburg St. at 4 p.m.
This release is courtesy of the Roanoke College sports information department.