While there were familiar faces under the helmets on both sidelines of Pat Dye Field at Jordan-Hare Stadium for this year’s Iron Bowl, the Baldwin County connections continued off the field all …
While there were familiar faces under the helmets on both sidelines of Pat Dye Field at Jordan-Hare Stadium for this year’s Iron Bowl, the Baldwin County connections continued off the field all the way to Fairhope.
That is where Ellis Ponder and Will Reid spent one season together working for the Pirate football team before their respective graduations from Fairhope High School in 2006 and 2009. After previous stops, they reunited on the same field once again, now on opposite sides of the state’s biggest college football rivalry.
Ponder is now in his fifth year as the Associate Athletics Director and Football Chief Operating Officer for the University of Alabama and Reid took over as Director of Football Video at Auburn University at the beginning of the calendar year.
Saturday afternoon before the 88th installment of the Iron Bowl, the pair of former Fairhope Pirates caught up and shared an embrace while celebrating their professional roots being grown on the Eastern Shore.
Ponder also attended the University of Alabama where he was a student assistant in the football equipment room and worked in four postseason bowl games on top of the 2010 BCS National Championship Game. After four years as an event director in Birmingham, he returned to Alabama to serve as the Crimson Tide’s associate director of football operations. Ponder was elevated to his current role in 2017.
Reid went on to attend the University of South Alabama where he was a student video assistant. He served as assistant coordinator of video services for the Ole Miss football team before he was the football video coordinator at Florida International. When he first reunited with head coach Hugh Freeze at Liberty, Reid was named the FBS Independent Video Coordinator of the Year in 2019.