During his 19 years with the Philadelphia Eagles, Joe Banner was considered one of the most accomplished executives in the NFL. He oversaw one of the best stretches of football in Eagles history including participation in the 2005 Super Bowl, achievements that would never have happened had it not been for a phone call.
In 1992, Banner was seeking a teaching job in Hawaii when he received a message that radically changed his plan. Jeff Lurie, a Boston childhood friend, called to ask his help in purchasing a professional football franchise and then help him run it.
A beginning priority was building both a new headquarters and a stadium that would compare to the very best in the league, a challenge Banner took on.
Months of tough negotiations finally resulted in the building of the NovaCare Complex, the largest and best team headquarters in professional sports. With hard work and dogged persistence, Banner convinced the city and the state to support the construction of Lincoln Financial Field, widely acclaimed one of the best in the NFL and the most environmentally friendly stadium in the country.
The next step was to create a winning football program. As President of the organization, Banner played a primary role in hiring Andy Reid. What followed was one of the longest associations in modern NFL history as Banner and Reid held the top positions at the Eagles for the next 14 years. During that time the team made 9 playoff appearances, won 6 division championships, played in 5 NFC championship games and one Super Bowl. One of the only teams in NFL history to win over 100 games in a decade, they were the fourth team in NFL history to go to four straight championship games. From 1995 until his departure, the Eagles had more playoff appearances and playoff wins than any team in the NFC.
Perhaps Banner’s most valuable contribution was his mastery of the league salary cap where his innovative concepts allowed the Eagles to remain contenders year after year.
He is also proud of his success in developing young talent with six professional sports teams now headed by people who worked under him.
Currently Banner teaches a Sports Law Class at Villanova University Law School and is employed by ESPN as an on-air “NFL Insider”.