EL PASO, Texas -

Ted Banks, who led the UTEP men's track & field and cross country teams to a combined 17 national titles, passed away at his home in Gunter, Texas Thursday night, said Jeff Darby with the University of Texas at El Paso.

Banks was 82 years old. He led the UTEP men's track and field and cross country teams from 1972 to 1981.

"Ted Banks was one of the most successful cross country and track coaches in NCAA history," said UTEP track & field coach Mika Laaksonen.  "His tenure at UTEP is unmatched with achievement by any other coach."

"He was at the forefront of track and field coaches when he was here at UTEP and certainly determined the direction that we took in distance running in this country," said former UTEP coach Bob Kitchens.  "He was an exceptional coach.  He is the history of this program."

Banks was a member of UTEP's initial Athletic Hall of Fame induction class in 2002. 

He was inducted into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2000.

His stint at UTEP also produced 47 NCAA individual champions, 189 All-Americans, 27 Western Athletic Conference men’s team titles (six outdoor track & field, eight indoor track & field, nine cross country) and 152 WAC individual champions.

Banks is survived by his wife Judy; his children Jennifer, Ted and Tom; and two grandchildren, Hunter and Jade Nix. Hunter Nix played football at UTEP from 2011-13.