Swim Ireland National Team Director
Peter Banks began his career as an Assistant Manager for Newpark Sports Center and an Assistant Coach for the Trojan Swim Club in Dublin Ireland (1976-1988). In 1989, he moved to Florida to become the Head Coach and Aquatics Director for Brandon Swim and Tennis Club (BSAC) and Blue Wave Swim Team. During his time at Blue Wave, they had swimmers competing at every level of USA swimming. They were members of the National Junior Team and National A&B Teams. The swimmers that have been part of these have all earned many honors, including many national championship titles Pan am. Pan-Pac World Championship and Olympic games medals. In 1997, Coach Banks served as the Assistant Coach to the USA National Team Pan-Pac’s in Japan. He was also selected as the Assistant Coach for the 1999 USA Swimming Pan-Pac Open Water Team, the USA Head Women’s Coach for the World Short Course Championships (2000), and the Assistant Coach to the Women’s USA Olympic Team (2000).
The most successful of these was Brooke Bennett being the most dominant distance swimmer in the world for six years. In 1996, Coach Banks oversaw Brooke Bennett’s first Olympic success coming home with a Gold Medal in the 800 meter freestyle. In the 2000 Summer Olympics, Brooke Bennett went back and claimed a Gold Medal in both the 400 meter and 800 meter freestyle – where she set a new Olympic Record. Besides the Olympics, Brooke Bennett went on to swim on two World Championship teams, 2 Pan-Pac teams, and one Pan Am team. He also coached Chantal Gibney, who became a member of the Irish European Team 2000 & the Sydney 2000 Olympic team.
Coach Banks went on to work as the Director of the American Swimming Coaches Association from 2001 to 2004. During this time he volunteered as the Senior Coach at Broward Aquatic from 2001 to 2004. Coach Banks had 30 swimmers in his group ranging from sectional level Qualifiers to National and Olympic trial Qualifiers, such as John Reich (National Junior Team), Jean Lee (National Junior Team), Briley Bergen (Pan Pac open water team/Pan-Pac 25k Champion).
Having moved to Fort Lauderdale, Coach Banks continued to coach swimmers such as Brooke Bennett, Maritza Correia and Chantal Gibney. Maritza had a tremendous year in 2002, when she broke 2 American records in the 50 yard and 100 yard Freestyle. In 2003-2004, Maritza represented the USA at the World Championships in Japan and was a member of the Olympics team and won an Olympic Silver medal swimming prelims of the 400 meter free relay in Athens. Corriea also made the World Championship team in 2011 & 2003, coming home as a relay team medalist. Another swimmer from the team, Golda Marcus, attended the 2004 & 2008 Olympics representing her native land – El Salvador.
After leaving the ASCA and Broward Aquatics, Coach Banks took up the role of Head Coach and Director of Sports Development for the Blue Wave Swim Team in November of 2004. Coach Bank’s served as the Head Women’s Coach to the USA National Junior Team, Junior Pan Pacs in 2005. In 2006, he took over as the interim Executive Director and resumed his original duties by April 2008, until he left in 2009. Several of his swimmers accomplishments while at Blue Wave included JP Arnold (USA National Team 2008-2009), and Jason Taylor (USA National Junior Team 2009).
After 30 years living and coaching in Florida, Coach Banks started as Ireland’s first National Performance Director for Swim Ireland in May 2009. While working for Swim Ireland, Coach Banks has worked on qualifying standards for International events, FINA A Standards for Olympic Qualifying, putting together a National Youth program, developing the performance centers, and coach education and mentoring. Peter Banks has been Ireland’s Head Coach for a variety of positions such as the Head Coach for the Irish World Championship Team (2009, 2011, & 2013), the Irish European Championship Team (2010 & 2014), and the Irish Olympic Team in London (2012).
Peter Banks has received many accolades from his previous years:
- Florida Swimming Coaches Association (FSCA) Age Group Coach of the Year (1991).
- ASCA Florida Age Group Coach of the Year (1992)
- Florida Senior Coach of the Year (1994 & 1996)
- ASCA Coach of the Year (2000)
- FSCA Coach of the Year (2000)