Alabama head coach Nick Saban announced the hiring of Ellis Ponder as director of football operations on Thursday.

Ponder, a native of Fairhope, Alabama, was elevated to the director’s role after spending the past two seasons as the Crimson Tide’s associate director of football operations. In his role as director of football operations, Ponder 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, Alabama. 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.