Elmore “Mo“ A. Banton (2023)

About Elmore “Mo“ A. Banton

Elmore “Mo“ A. Banton, an Ohio legend in the sports of Cross Country and Track & Field began his coaching career at the University of Akron in 1978 before returning to his coach at his Alma Mater Ohio University in 1980. Elmore spent the majority of his 37 year collegiate coaching career at Ohio University before serving as an assistant coach at John Carroll from 2003 until he retired from coaching in 2015. In 1980 the hiring of Elmore Banton by Ohio University was an historic moment because he was the first African-American to be named to a head coaching position at Ohio University. In 1986 Ohio University wisely followed up and hired Elmore to lead the women’s Cross Country and Track & Field programs in addition to his duties as the head men’s coach for both sports. During his highly successful 23 year tenure as the Ohio University Head Cross Country and Track & Field coach Elmore’s coaching mantra revolved around three words: “MAGIC: Making A Greater Individual Commitment. TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More. And PRIDE: Positive mental attitude, Respect, Intensity, Discipline, and Enthusiasm. Coach Baton’s’ athletes bought into his philosophy as he guided the Bobcats to multiple team titles and outstanding individual accomplishments. His teams were the Mid-American Conference Cross Country Champions 9 times (Men 1, Women 8), All-Ohio Cross Country Champions 13 times (Men 6, Women 7), Mid-American Conference Track & Field Champions (Women 1), Central Collegiate Cross Country Champions 7 times (Men 3, Women 4). He coached 22 Mid-American Conference Track & Field Individual Champions, 3 Cross Country All-Americans and 3 Track & Field All-Americans. In addition to the accolades of his teams and athletes at Ohio University Elmore Banton made his own history in 1964, winning the NCAA Division I Men’s Cross Country Championship and becoming OHIO’s first NCAA Cross Country Champion. Elmore earned All-American honors in 1964-65. He has been inducted into the Ohio University Sports Hall of Fame as an individual along with his 1964 Cross Country team. In 1972 he was also inducted into the Summit County Sports Hall of Fame. In 1973 he was honored as the Akron Jaycees “Man of the Year” for distinguished service to the community. In 2021 he also received the Tire Town Distinguished Service Award then in 2022 he was recognized and presented with the Ohio University Black Alumni Trailblazer Award. The OATCCC is truly honored to recognize and include Elmore Banton as a 2023 Inductee to the OATCCC Hall of Fame. Congratulations Coach Banton you are a true Ohio legend!

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