Jeff Pond returns to Mater Academy as head football coach

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 0 Comments

Jeff Pond returns to Mater Academy as head football coach

 

Mater Academy’s search for a new head football coach brought back a familiar face.

Jeff Pond, the Lions’ defensive coordinator during the 2015 and 2016 seasons under Rocco Casullo, was named the new coach for the 2018 season, his first head coaching job after serving as an assistant for more than 15 years. 

Pond built one of the top-ranked defenses in the state, which helped Mater Academy reach the regional playoffs during those two seasons and won the school’s first district title.

As Casullo’s successor, Pond, 38, is building a power house team on both sides of the football following a 7-6 season, and a loss to Palm Beach Garden’s Dwyer in the regional quarterfinal.

He said he’s bringing back some of the coaches from the 2015 and 2016 teams to pick up where Casullo left off.

“We will continue what coach Casullo did some years ago,” said Pond. “That is what made us successful.”

The Lions’ 2016 defense was among the best in Florida, giving up only six points per game and recording six shut outs, as Mater Academy finished the season 11-2.

University of Georgia defensive back Latavious Brini and Charlotte 49ers linebacker Jonathan Francois were the nucleus of Mater Academy’s defense.

“We had a pretty talented defensive,” Pond said.

Pond, who took a year off from coaching football, said he was driving in the snow in Indiana when he got the call to replace Casullo.

“I’m excited about the situation,” he said.  

  The Indiana native, who played quarterback in high school and attended West Virginia University, has had success coaching both offense and defense.

Pond said his first head coaching job at Mater Academy should be an exciting experience and he can’t wait for Spring practice to start.

“I’m ready,” he said. “This will be a good football team.”

 


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