Berkeley Hires Renowned Swim Coach Peter Banks
Renowned swim coach Peter Banks has joined Berkeley Preparatory School as an assistant coach for the varsity swim team and the Berkeley Barracudas swim club. As one of the most respected swim coaches in the world, Banks will join coaches Kevin Rosepapa and Jonathan Jordan who led Berkeley to a state runner-up finish in the 2016 Boys Class 1A state meet.
Banks has a long and illustrious career as one of the most successful swim coaches at every level of competition. The Ireland native began his career at the club-level in Dublin in 1976. Since then he has been Ireland’s Head Coach for a variety of positions including the Head Coach for the Irish World Championship Team (2009, 2011, and 2013), the Irish European Championship Team (2010 and 2014), and the Irish Olympic Team in London (2012).
He has coached many world-class swimmers during his 40-year career. The most successful of these was Brooke Bennett, the most dominant distance swimmer in the world for six years. In 1996, Coach Banks oversaw Bennett’s first Olympic success coming home with a Gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle. In the 2000 Summer Olympics, Bennett claimed a Gold in both the 400-meter and 800-meter freestyle, where she set a new Olympic Record.
In addition to Bennett, Banks coached Maritza Correia and Chantal Gibney. Correia had a tremendous year in 2002, when she broke two American records in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle. In 2003 and 2004, Correia represented the USA at the World Championships in Japan and was a member of the Olympic 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 and 2003, coming home as a relay team medalist. Another swimmer from the team, Golda Marcus, attended the 2004 and 2008 Olympics representing her home country of El Salvador.
Banks took up the role of Head Coach and Director of Sports Development for the Blue Wave Swim Team in November of 2004. Bank’s also served as the Head Women’s Coach to the USA National Junior Team and the Junior Pan Pacs in 2005. Some of the more notable swimmers at Blue Wave coached by Banks included JP Arnold (USA National Team 2008-2009) and Jason Taylor (USA National Junior Team 2009).
His impact on the sport has influenced qualifying standards for international events, standards for Olympic qualifying, the establishment of national youth programs, the development of performance centers, and coaching education and mentoring.
Banks comes to Berkeley from Senior Coach Pipeline Swimming, where he served as Senior Coach.