Stuart McNair

Fairhope native Ellis Ponder elevated to director of Alabama football operations

New football operations director has two degrees from Alabama

Alabama  Coach Nick Saban has shown time and again that he can — and will — go anywhere to get the personnel he needs to have a championship program. Most public are players who are recruited and coaches who are hired, but there is no question that Saban puts much stock in having effective administrators behind the scenes.
Saban didn’t have to look far for a replacement for director of football operations following the departure of Justin Dickens, who spent two years in that position before leaving at the end of the 2016 season.
On Thursday Alabama announced that Ellis Ponder, who had been serving as the associate director of football operations for two years, has been elevated to director.
Ponder, a native of Fairhope, will be tasked with overseeing the operational and organizational aspects of the Crimson Tide football program.
“The University of Alabama has always been very special to me and I am looking forward to my expanded role,” Ponder said. “Coach Saban is the best in the nation at running a football program and I truly appreciate the opportunity and his trust in me to serve as the director of football operations.”
Prior to arriving at Alabama, Ponder spent just over four years working for the Bruno Event Team in Birmingham. He helped manage a wide array of sporting evets during his time with the Bruno Event Team, including the Regions Tradition, which is a major on the PGA Champions Tour, the PGA Tour’s BMW Championship, the SEC Baseball Tournament, the SEC Women’s Golf Championship, the SEC and NCAA Gymnastics Championships, the NCAA College Cup, CrossFit Games, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, the Magic City Classic, and a wide range of Alabama High School Athletic Association events across the state.
Ponder holds two degrees from The University of Alabama, finishing his undergraduate degree in business administration in 2010 before receiving a master’s degree in marketing in 2011.


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