Co-DC Ephraim Banda leaving for Utah State creates change on Miami football staff

The announcement that co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Ephraim Banda accepting the same position at Utah State will create change for the Miami football staff during the offseason.

Co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Ephraim Banda leaving the Miami football program for the same position at Utah State will create change for the Hurricanes staff during the 2021 offseason. Banda decided to accept the job with the Aggies under Blake Anderson to call his own defense.

The departure of Banda to Logan, Utah leaves the polarizing Blake Baker as the sole defensive coordinator for the Miami football program and the Hurricanes with an opening for a safeties coach. The Miami defense regressed in 2021 after being top 25 nearly across the board in 2020.

Miami ranked 13th nationally in total defense23rd in scoring defense 12th in yards-per-play in 2019, were fourth nationally in tackles for loss, sixth in sacks, 10th against the run, 16th in red zone defense and 18th in pass defense in 2019. The Hurricanes were never able to replace the players lost after 2019.

Four-year starting linebackers Shaq Quarterman and Michael Pinckney and defensive end Greg Rousseau were dominant for Miami on defense in 2019. Jaelan Phillips became an all-American DE but did not produce nearly the amount of sacks that Rousseau did in 2019. Rousseau had 15.5 sacks in 2019, Phillips eight in 2020.

Miami now ranks 67th in total defense, allowing 408.4 yards a game, and 51st in scoring defense allowing 27 points per game in 2020. The Hurricanes matched the 2020 defense ranking fourth nationally in TFLs and are 33rd in sacks. The Miami run defense is 76th and Miami has fallen to 65th in passing yards allowed.

The Hurricanes Red zone defense is 54th nationally. Head coach Manny Diaz has some decisions to make with Banda moving on. Baker is one of the most polarizing people in the Miami football program. Most Miami fans want him fired. Diaz has to decide if he wants to retain Baker or create a mostly new defensive staff.

Other defensive coaches are defensive line coach Todd Stroud, linebackers coach and special teams coordinator Jonathan Patke and cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph. No other changes have been made for Miami other than Banda taking the job at Utah State. Miami has options for Banda’s replacement.

Miami could decide to promote someone currently on their staff or bring in someone from another program to replace Banda. If the Hurricanes go in-house, assistant director of recruiting Demarcus Van Dyke would be the likely choice. January has been a busy month the last two years for Miami, that should continue.