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Oree Banks honored by the Charleston Lions Club with the Leonard Jarrett Award

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West Virginia State University Health and Human Performance Associate Professor Oree Banks has been honored by the Charleston Lions Club with the Leonard Jarrett Award, the highest honor given by the group.

Banks, a member of the Charleston Lions Club for more than 30 years, said that he was humbled to receive the award at the Lions Club's Dec. 5 meeting.

"It was a shock, I had no idea," said Banks, who received the award in recognition of his service to supporting the sight or hearing needs of others.

The Leonard Jarrett award is named for Lions Club member Leonard Jarrett who is recognized by the Lions of West Virginia as the founder of the West Virginia Lions Sight Foundation.

Since joining the Charleston Lions Club, Banks has been involved in youth sports programs and youth education programs, particularly in the areas of drug education. He has also been active in the Lions Club support of the former West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference annual basketball tournament at the Charleston Civic Center.

Banks came to WVSU in 1977 as both an associate professor and head football coach. He wore both hats until after the 1983 football season. Since that time, he has worked as an associate professor of Health and Human Performance.

A native of Newton, Miss., Banks began his college football coaching career as head coach at Coahoma Community College following his playing days at Kansas State University.  In addition, Banks has served as head coach at South Carolina State and has coached football on the staffs of Grambling State University, the University of South Carolina, the University of Virginia and the University of Wisconsin before being coming to WVSU. 

Banks was previously named to the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1995 and to the WVSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.