Ed Banach grew up wrestling with his brother, Steve, and his younger twin brother, Lou Banach. They were one of 14 children who grew up in a children’s home after their father abandoned the family after a house fire. Ed and Lou both wrestled at the University of Iowa, with Ed winning NCAA titles in 1980, 1981, and 1983. He was named the 1983 Big 10 Athlete-of-the-Year. After winning his gold medal, Banach retired, and eventually became a victim of post-concussion syndrome from the many head injuries he had sustained during his wrestling career. He coached at Iowa State only until 1989 and later ran wrestling clinics in the area, which were less stressful for him. Banach also became a student-athlete academic counselor at Iowa State. He is a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Iowa Sports Hall of Fame.