Ludwig David "Lou" Banach (born February 6, 1960) is an American athlete who won a gold medal in wrestling in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. He was noted with his fraternal brother Ed Banach for both winning gold medals in freestyle wrestling at the same Olympics.
After earning a master's in business degree at Pennsylvania State University in 1988, Banach has had a career as a banker based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since 2010 he has been a segment leader for Associated Bank of Green Bay.
Lou and Ed Banach are fraternal twin brothers born in Sussex County, New Jersey, sons of Warclaw and Genevieve Banach, immigrants from Poland and Germany, respectively. They have an older brother Steve, born in 1959. Their biological family of 16 was separated when they were young, after their house was destroyed in a fire. Their mother suffered a nervous breakdown, and the children had to be put in foster care.
The twins and their brother Steve were all adopted in the early 1970s by Alan and Stephanie Tooley of Montague, New Jersey. The family moved to Port Jervis, New York, where the three boys all became involved in football and wrestling in high school. The twins were established as the best wrestlers in Port Jervis history by the time they graduated in 1978.
The twins both were recruited by Dan Gable and went to the University of Iowa on wrestling scholarships the fall of 1978. Lou Banach won NCAA championships in 1981 and 1983. His overall collegiate record was 92-14-3. He was enrolled in ROTC during college.
Lou Banach holds a bachelor's degree in Management and Communications from the University of Iowa and earned his MBA in Finance/Accounting with honors from Penn State University.
In 1984, Lou won a gold medal in Freestyle Wrestling in the 220-pound-weight (light heavyweight) class at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California. His brother Ed Banach won a gold medal in the 198-pound-class. In that same Olympiad, American brothers Dave and Mark Schultz also both won gold medals in wrestling events. Wrestling at lower weight classes than the Banachs, the Schultzes became the first American brothers to win gold medals in the same Olympics in wrestling. However, the Banach brothers have the distinction of being the first American TWIN brothers to win the gold medal in the same Olympics in wrestling.