There comes a point in everyone’s life when they determine the need to do things differently. For former Kentucky Wesleyan College soccer player Trevor Banks, that moment came on a day he’ll never forget.
Banks’ mother died of ovarian cancer in 2010, just a few days after she broke the news to her son. It was at that moment he knew he needed to change his mindset, and that included taking care of his siblings.
“When she passed away is whenever I figured out that I had to adjust,” he said. “That was something I was unprepared for.”
He said he knew he had to make a change.
“I went into this shift mode of ‘I can do this,’” he said. “That event that happened in my life gave me the backing that I can shift with anything.”
Now, a decade after leaving Owensboro, Banks has returned to the midwest as the head coach at Chicago State University for a program that will be back in Division I this coming year.
He said it’s been a crazy few days, but it’s still business as usual.
“I feel the same,” he said. “It’s a lot of work. I’m by myself. I still have everything that I’m getting done right now and just trying to get everything moving for Chicago. There’s a lot of things that normally my assistants would be doing, but I’m doing now. I’m fine with that given the direction the program’s going in the next year.”
Banks came to KWC from Louisiana and he said it hit everything on his list.
“It had exactly what I wanted in the communications department,” he said. “Professors that challenged us to be better than we were.”
He said he knows he made the right decision by making the move to Owensboro.
“I have no regrets at all, my four years there were amazing,” he said. “I enjoyed just everything about it.”
Early in his coaching career, Banks was talking to a friend about goals, and one of his was to be a Division I coach by the age of 35. He said it wasn’t because he was cocky, it was because he saw a need and he knew he could achieve something great.
He knew if he wanted to succeed, he had to find one aspect of the game he loved and run with it.
For Banks, that was recruiting. He made that his mission at each school he coached at, including his most recent stop at Brown.
Banks said when he saw the state of the country a couple of months ago, with all eyes on the Black Lives Matter movement, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Banks started working on a non-profit, but he wasn’t sure where the base for the organization was going to be.
Enter Chicago State.
Banks said he was looking at locations and looked at the south side of Chicago. It was after then that Chicago State contacted him, and he admitted he didn’t even know the school had a team.
But, after a short time, he knew it was the right spot.
“My philosophy literally aligns with their philosophy and their goals for what they’re about to do,” he said.
While the school has had financial difficulties in the past, Banks said they’re going in a new direction with the hope of changing the culture.
“It literally became a no-brainer in the first 24 hours after learning more information about it,” he said.
Banks said the environment around the school is something he’s familiar with because it’s similar to where he grew up in Louisiana.
He said the school is also on a mission to help the community with their impact.
“They’re using athletics to pump money into the school,” he said. “They’re using athletics as a catalyst.”
Despite already hitting his goal of being a Division I coach before he turns 35, Banks knows he can’t settle.
“For me there’s never an end goal,” he said. “If I said there’s an end goal, then it means I know everything. I want to continue to develop.”