December 11, 1985
|Occupation||ESPN Sideline Reporter|
Samantha Ponder (born Samantha Steele on December 11, 1985) is an American sportscaster from Phoenix, Arizona who is currently a reporter/host for ESPN college football and basketball sideline reporter. Ponder is best known as the replacement for Erin Andrews on College Gameday Saturdays at 10 AM ET on ESPN, as well as co-host of the Saturday 9 AM ET edition on ESPNU. In addition to her duties on College Gameday, Ponder has been the regular sideline reporter for ESPN's Thursday Night Football with Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, and David Pollack since August 2012, replacing Jenn Brown on the sidelines.  Ponder also appears on the ESPN-owned Texas-oriented regional network Longhorn Network.
Ponder attended Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, where she worked as a sideline reporter during Liberty's football, men's basketball and women's basketball television broadcasts. After graduating in 2009, she worked for Fox Sports Net and Fox College Sports as a sideline reporter for Pac-10 and Big 12 college basketball and football games. On July 7, 2011, ESPN's Longhorn Network announced that they had hired Ponder as a sideline reporter. Ponder, along with Kevin Dunn and Lowell Galindo, were the newly created network's first three talent hires. After accepting her position with the Longhorn Network, Ponder relocated to Austin, Texas. After a brief courtship, she married Minnesota Vikings quarterback, Christian Ponder, on December 17, 2012 in Hudson, Wisconsin. She started appearing on ESPN/ABC broadcasts by her married name, starting with the January 1, 2013 broadcast of the CapitalOne Bowl.
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- McIntyre, Jason. "Samantha Steele to Replace Erin Andrews as Host of Gameday on ESPNU; Heather Cox New Saturday Night Sideline Reporter". thebiglead.com. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
- "ESPN drafts Pollack to replace James on Thursday games". USA Today. June 24, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
- "Liberty Alum Steele Hired by Longhorn Network". Liberty University. July 8, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-09.
- "Talent with Texas ties joining Longhorn Network". Houston Chronicle. July 7, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-09.
- "Vikings' Ponder takes a hike, marries in Wisconsin". Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- "Introducing Samantha Ponder". Diamond Joe's Media Rantz. Retrieved 1 January 2013.