Tuskegee University and Athletics is mourning the loss of former student-athlete and offensive line coach Fred Ellis, who passed away on Monday. “The news of Fred’s passing is incredibly sad,” said head coach and former Tuskegee teammate Aaron James.
“Fred was an instrumental piece to this program during both of his stints here, one as a player and one as a coach. Our university and program are incredibly sad this day has come. We keep his family and loved ones in our thoughts, as he will forever be missed.”
Ellis joined the Golden Tigers coaching staff as the offensive line coach following the 2021 season after two stints at Miles, spanning eight seasons in total.
Over the last two years, the Golden Tigers compiled a 15-7 record, highlighted by an appearance in the 2023 SIAC Football Championship game, and lost just three games to conference opponents. Tuskegee also averaged over 100 yards rushing in both seasons, averaging 142.0 yards per game last season and 159.5 in 2022.
Ellis initially joined the Miles staff in 2011 and worked until 2015, working primarily with the offensive line and helping the program reach two Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships and played in another league title game.
The Golden Bears also had 10 All-SIAC selections during his tenure, including four-time pick Terrance Owens, who made the First Team three times. In 2014, Miles rushed for more than 203 yards per game, second in the conference, and in 2015, the school led the league in rushing yards per game.
After a one-year hiatus, he returned in 2017 and Miles picked up right where it left off with him in charge of the O-Linemen, producing another pair of All-SIAC selections, allowed the second-fewest sacks in the conference, and led the league in rushing. He added another All-SIAC selection to his tenure in 2018 as the Golden Bears won another league championship.
Ellis was a two-time All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference selection on the offensive line at Tuskegee, earning First Team honors in 2000 and a Second Team selection in 2001.