There's a new Lady Trojan in town. Yazoo City native, Tangela Banks was recently named the new women's head basketball coach at Mississippi Delta Community College. Banks comes to the Delta after a highly successful high school career that includes several state championships. Her educational background consists of an Associate's degree from Hinds Community College and a Bachelor's and Master's Degree from Jackson State University. She also received her certification in Sports Administration from Belhaven University.
MDCC Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Jeff Tatum knows the new Trojan will pay big dividends for the women's basketball program.
"I believe Coach Banks is going to do a really good job. Anytime you win a state championship you have to be a good coach," Tatum said. "She has a great vision and a lot of connections. She's going to do a really good job recruiting. She has a very good feel for this league, she works hard and she's really working her girls hard."
Banks competed in both track and field and basketball – lettering four years at Yazoo City High School. She drew interest from colleges all across the southeast region. She chose Hinds Community College and Jackson State to compete during her college years where she was given attention by the NCAA All-American committees, named First Team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference, Most Outstanding Track and Field Athlete and Most Valuable Player in track at Jackson State University.
After college she began her coaching career and garnered much success at two high powered programs here in Mississippi. It was first at Forest Hill, where she coached from 2010-2014, capturing two state championships (2012 and 2013), Coach of the Year twice, two district championships, two Jackson Public Schools Pepsi tournaments, and an overall record of 98-25.
Banks then moved to the long-time winning program – the Murrah High School Lady Mustang program in 2014. Her team won a state championship, three district championships, one Jackson Public Schools Pepsi tournament, Coach of the Year, North-South All-Star Coach, and accrued a record of 101 wins and only 23 losses.
Coach Banks hit the ground running in July working with the stocked cupboard that retired Coach Burnadette McDonald left her with. She wants to build upon that success with her own recipe – basic fundamentals and defense.
"I teach defense first – aggressive defense," Coach Banks said. "Aggressive is man to man but we'll run 1-2-2 as well."
And Banks has to get the JUCO mindset of two-year plans with players and not a three- or four-year stint as in high school. She understands there's no time to waste.
"I thought, 'I've got to get started early.' They're not used to my system and I only have them two years. But by the time they get to college they have developed. There's a lot of work to put in but not as much as when you are in high school and you have players coming out of middle school and they don't know anything about a layup – right or left hand. In college they are more advanced and that helps out."
Banks will be looking for all-around athletes to bring to her team. On offense, she'll be "pushing the ball up the floor. We are always in transition. If we're playing solid, good defense then we'll get most of our buckets in transition."
The team has been conditioning and weight lifting this summer and Coach Banks is looking at the stocked cupboard and looking for more talent.
"She left me a couple of sophomores and a couple of freshmen so I'm still trying to add a few more pieces," Coach Banks said. "Hopefully, we'll be able to get to .500 this season."
With her success at the high school level – three State Championships in seven years and three-time Coach of the Year in less than 10 years – her goals are simple.
"I've got to get those athletes in here. I've got to have a recruiting program to find the athletes that can run my system so that we are successful," she said. "I've been networking with a lot of coaches. Forest, Wingfield, Magee – coaches have been calling me to let me know they have players that haven't signed with anyone."
Banks will bring on a former player of hers to be her assistant coach – Anissa Jackson.
"She played for me and helped us win two championships," Banks said.
Banks and Jackson will rotate coaching duties in practice.
"We both are hands on. If they mess up, she'll correct them. You have to have assistant coaches who know the game and understand the game. We are working for the same goal – making them better," she said.
To help work her team in practice, Coach Banks will be looking for help from the men's team.
"I'll make an all-call when school starts and I might take a couple of his guys that he's redshirted and do something with them," she said.
Entering the JUCO level, Banks "thought I'd never be here (coaching). If you work hard it will pay off and you'll get your blessing in the end."
Her pride and joy extend way beyond the championships as she is the proud mother of two children—Taniya and Jacavian.