University of Alabama Names Alum Seventh Gymnastics Coach in Program History
The University of Alabama in a press release has named Ashley Priess-Johnston as its newest gymnastics coach. Priess-Johnston is a 10-time All-American, part of back-to-back NCAA Championship teams and is a two-time graduate from the University of Alabama.
Priess-Johnston will be formally introduced in a press conference on Friday. She becomes the seventh head coach in program history and just the third 1979. Priess-Johnston is a two-time national SEC Champion and made All-SEC three times during her college career at The Capstone.
“I am honored to be trusted as your new head gymnastics coach,” said Johnston. “Thank you to Greg Byrne and the amazing executive team for allowing me to share my vision, passion and commitment to student-athlete well-being and to the future of this storied program. I look forward to reconnecting with each and every one of you. With a very full heart, I want to say, ‘Thank you,’ and ‘Roll Tide!’”
She served as a three-year team captain as a student-athlete and earned a bachelor's degree in Spanish in 2011 and a master's degree in marketing in 2013.
Priess-Johnston was part of the USA National Team for seven years competing in the 2005 Massilia Gym Cup, the 2006 U.S. World Cup in France and in Belgium and the 2008 International Exchange.
After her collegiate career she began coaching at the Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy. She's spent the last four years as an Auburn assistant coach, finishing her tenure as associate head coach. She helped the Tigers to a fourth-place finish at last year's NCAA Championships and in 2019 she was named the WGCA Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year in just her first year with Auburn. Prior to joining the Tigers she spent the 2018 season as an assistant with the University of Illinois.
Priess-Johnston replaces Dana Duckworth who spent the last 27 years with the program as an athlete, assistant and head coach.