Everyone has heard the old saying that “the apple never falls far from the tree.” That couldn’t be a truer statement in the case of Kori Ermigarat. She actually started high school at West High in 1989 where she earned three varsity letters as a freshman. But luckily for her and North High, her family moved into the Oildale area to start her sophomore year in 1989. She would be following the footsteps of her talented father Ray Ermigarat, a NH basketball legend. When she was finished, they would become the greatest father/daughter duo in the history of the school.
By the time she graduated in 1992 she set the bar so high for Lady Stars following her that it will be difficult for anyone to ever come close to what she and her teams accomplished in just three years. Excelling in three sports (volleyball, basketball and softball), she garnered nine more varsity letters for a grand total of 12 for her career. Unprecedented even now.
In volleyball as a soph and playing for Brooke Roberts and Jill Turner, the team was South Yosemite League co-Champs with a 12-2 record, finished 32-3 overall and lost in the Valley finals. In her junior year, the Lady Stars were SYL Champs at 12-0 and won NH’s first ever Valley Championship in volleyball. In Kori’s senior year, the team repeated the SYL title at 12-0 but also went back-to-back for another Valley Championship. To top it off, she was named All-Area player of the year.
As a sophomore in basketball, the team claimed the SYL Championship with a 13-1 record, 23-2 overall and once again a Valley Championship under North’s legendary coach Curt DeRossett. In her junior year, the girls went 12-0 to win the title, 23-5 overall and a runner-up in the Valley Championship.
In softball, playing for Brooke’s husband Randy Roberts, she played on SYL championship teams as a sophomore (11-3) and then again as a junior (11-1). The junior year was special because in that year she was named All-Area player of the year, going 11-1 with a microscopic ERA of 0.26, batting 4.10, and stealing 25 bases. She pitched 6 shutouts in the 12 league games, including 2 no-hitters, 3 one-hitters and 5 two-hitters. The team finished 3rd in league her senior year (8-4) but she was still named 1st team All-State Division-I Utility player.
So in four years at North, she played on 7 SYL Championship teams, 3 Valley Championship teams and twice on teams that lost in Valley finals. Individually she made 1st team all-SYL 7 times including 3 times MVP, Team MVP 5 times, and All-Area first team 6 times and once 2nd team All-Area. She was named All-Area player of the year in both softball and volleyball, one of only a handful of female athletes to ever accomplish the feat.
More awards came following her senior year. She was named co-winner of the Jim Tyack Award, symbolic of the best female athlete in Kern County. On top of that she was a finalist for the Mayor’s Trophy which combines the classroom and the athletic field. And she accomplished all this while serving as the ASB Commissioner of Clubs.
After North High, Kori went to San Diego State University on a volleyball scholarship, playing two years there. She then transferred to the University of South Carolina for her junior and senior seasons. There she made all-Tournament teams 5 times, was the Carolina Classic MVP and was All-Southeast Conference in both her junior and seniors years. She graduated from South Carolina in 1997 with a degree in Liberal Arts. From there it was on to coaching.
Her first job was as an assistant head coach at San Diego State, staying there for 3 years. Then she took another assistant job at the University of Toledo for one year before heading off Idaho State as an assistant for two years. That’s when and where her life changed. She met Jeff Banks, an assistant football coach at Idaho State and they were married in 2003. Her husband then took an assistant coaching at University of El Paso at Texas (UTEP) which lasted nine years. That’s where all of her three children were born.
She is currently living in College Station, Texas where her husband is an assistant football coach at Texas A&M University. She is a certified cross fit coach at “Cross fit Aggieland.” They have a daughter Sydnei and sons Tanner and Gage. Those are some lucky apples.