Custer Stadium of MPS renamed to honor former soccer coach Jimmy Banks
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- As more and more schools sell naming rights on new stadiums, one school in our area is giving theirs away to honor a former student.
Emails poured into the MPS board from soccer players and coaches, all with one request -- to put the name Jimmy Banks outside his former high school, and the board ultimately said yes.
"Fabulous guy, absolutely fabulous guy," said Tim Clements, retired soccer coach.
Retired soccer coach Tim Clements recalls feeling overwhelmingly sad when he heard Jimmy Banks had passed away at age 54.
"This was devastating not just to me, but to the entire soccer community," said Clements.
Banks died in 2019. He and Clements had worked together at a soccer camp.
"Beyond the amazing soccer skills, which are jaw dropping at that time and he retained throughout his life, Jimmy was just the best guy in the world. He loved kids. He loved coached. He loved the game," said Clements.
Banks grew up on the north side, he graduated from here and now the Custer Football Stadium will be renamed the Jimmy Banks Stadium.
"This is raising a level of soccer visibility within the community that is exciting for all of us and now everybody that walks by that stadium and sees his name will know who he is," said Clements.
Demetrius White says it's an honor well deserved.
"He's the best person on earth to me even though we don't have him here anymore, I still feel his spirit," said Demetrius White, Simba Sport Club President.
White is President of the Simba Soccer Club that Banks started years after he played for the Milwaukee Wave, and represented the U.S. at the 1990 World Cup.
"He was laid back. He was always the type of person that no matter what went wrong he would always try to encourage you," said White.
White was 11 years old when Banks started coaching him.
"It was a lot of names for him -34 a lot of people called him Jimmy, but a lot of us called him JB. And we became really, really great not just soccer players, but individuals by listening to him and doing it," said White.
Since the vote just happened, there is no time yet for when the sign may change. But when it does, those in the soccer community tell me they're thrilled.