Ashley Johnston Introduced as Alabama Gymnastics Head Coach

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Ashley Johnston is back.

Nearly a decade after her All-America gymnastics career came to a close, Johnston returns to the Capstone as the Crimson Tide’s seventh head gymnastics coach and just the third since 1979.

“I’m so very honored to be stepping into the role as head coach of Alabama gymnastics,” Johnston said. “As I look out and see so many familiar faces – teammates, mentors and current members of the Crimson Tide, I am reminded that I’m home.”

Alabama Director of Athletics Greg Byrne announced the Cincinnati, Ohio, native’s hiring on Monday, May 23 and she was formally introduced Friday at the Mal Moore Athletics Facility, just across the street from where she competed for the Tide from 2009-13.

“We are thrilled to have Ashley back home, along with her husband Jason and her son Colton,” Byrne said. “I know she’s eager to get going and work with our student-athletes and she’s already hard at work. When we started talking with Ashley, we were incredibly impressed with her ability to communicate and share a vision, talk about the gymnastics world and especially The University of Alabama. We could see very early on why she was so highly regarded. “

After coaching at the Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, where she worked with CGA head coach Mary Lee Tracy, Johnston started her collegiate coaching career as an assistant at Illinois during the 2018 season. She returns to Tuscaloosa following four years at Auburn, where she finished her tenure as associate head coach.

“Gymnastics has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I have experienced nearly every role that this sport has to offer,” Johnston said. “From a career as International Elite competing for Team USA, to a college student-athlete competing for championships, to serving as a club coach, choreographer, judge and college coach – I understand the roller coaster that comes with the greatest celebrations and the toughest losses. Those experiences have allowed me to develop a holistic vision for this program. “

A 10-time Crimson Tide All-American and member of back-to-back NCAA Championship teams in 2011 and 2012, as well as a pair of Southeastern Conference titles, Johnston takes over a program that has won six NCAA Championships (1988, 1991 , 1996, 2002, 2011, 2012), 10 SEC Championships and an NCAA-best 32 regional titles.

“My No. 1 priority is to value student-athlete wellbeing above all else,” Johnston said. “We will foster an environment that empowers everyone to have a voice. We will work with excellence to accomplish our goals academically. We will invest in our community and establish relationships that go beyond sports. We will compete for championships and create an atmosphere that is second to none. We will strive tirelessly to enhance the tradition of excellence and legacy of champions that is Alabama gymnastics. “

In addition to her All-America honors and individual NCAA Regional and SEC titles, Johnston was a Scholastic All-American, three-year team captain and a finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year honors.

“I want to thank everyone for the opportunity to share my vision for this program that has meant so much to me along with my excitement for coming home to The University of Alabama,” Johnston said.

For all of the latest information on Alabama gymnastics, follow @BamaGymnastics on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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