Lou Banach

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Lou Banach
Lou Banach.jpg
Lou Banach in 1984
Personal information
Full name Ludwig David Banach
Born February 6, 1960 (1960-02-06) (age 55)
Sussex County, New Jersey, U.S.
Lou Banach (right) with his twin brother Ed Banach, August 1984

Ludwig David "Lou" Banach (born February 6, 1960)[1] is an athlete who won a gold medal in wrestling in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. He was noted with his twin brother Ed Banach for both winning gold medals in wrestling events at the same Olympics.

After earning a master's in business degree at Pennsylvania State University, Banach has had a career as a banker based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since 2010 he has been head of commercial banking for Associated Bank of Green Bay.

Early life and education[edit]

Lou and Ed Banach are fraternal twin brothers born in Sussex County, New Jersey, sons of Wraclaw and Genevieve Banach, immigrants from Poland and Germany, respectively.[2] They have an older brother Steve, born in 1958. Their family broke up when they were young, after their house was destroyed in a fire and their father left. Their mother suffered a nervous breakdown, and the children had to be put in care.[2]

The twins and their brother Steve were all adopted by Alan and Stephanie Tooley of Montague, New Jersey.[2] The family moved to Port Jervis, New York, where the three boys all became involved in football and wrestling in high school.[2] The twins were established as the best wrestlers in Port Jervis history by the time they graduated in 1978. [3]

The twins both went to the University of Iowa on wrestling scholarships.[2] Lou Banach won NCAA championships in 1981 and 1983. His overall collegiate record was 92-14-3. He was in ROTC in college.

Olympic gold[edit]

In 1984, Banach won a gold medal in Freestyle Wrestling in the 220-pound-weight (heavyweight) class at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California. His brother Ed Banach won a gold medal in the 198-pound-class.[4] In that same Olympiad, American brothers Dave and Mark Schultz also both won gold medals in wrestling events.


After his wrestling career, Banach entered active duty in the army as a second lieutenant and became a coach at the United States Military Academy at West Point.[3]

He went on to professional studies, earning a master’s degree in business administration at Penn State University. He started his banking career at National City Bank (now PNC) in Cleveland, Ohio.[3]

He and his wife decided they wanted to live in Milwaukee, where Banach was hired at LaSalle Bank. As he rose to the senior level, he served for seven years as senior vice president and deputy regional manager at its Milwaukee office. He worked with business customers to finance mergers and acquisitions.[3]

In 2010 he joined Associated Bank (based in Green Bay) as group senior vice president of commercial banking for southeast Wisconsin, dealing with businesses in the $2 million to $50 million annual sales range. He manages 40 bankers across three teams in Associated’s Milwaukee and Waukesha offices.[3]

Marriage and family[edit]

His wife, Kim, is from Illinois and the couple wanted to stay in the Midwest. They have three children together.[3]


  • In 2002 Banach was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.[5]
  • In 2002 Banach was inducted into the University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame.
  • Port Jervis, New York installed a blue-and-gold sign in town honoring Ed and Lou Banach as Olympic champions.[6]


  1. ^ "Lou Banach". Sports Reference. 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Banach twins grapple with their problems", New York Times, June 22, 1984
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Banach trying to wrestle in customers for Associated", Milwaukee Business Journal, September 26, 2010, accessed November 15, 2014
  4. ^ "As tough guys go, Banach a real Lou-Lou". Times Herald-Record. Orange County Publications. August 11, 2006. Retrieved November 18, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Lou Banach, inducted 2002", National Wrestling Hall of Fame, accessed November 15, 2014
  6. ^ Sal Interdonato, "Banach's Olympic gold came with a heavy price", Times Herald Record (recordonline.com, Middletown, NY), August 13, 2006, accessed November 15, 2014