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Alabama Gymnastics Adds Olympian to Coaching Staff

Justin Spring joins the Crimson Tide after 12 seasons as the head coach of men's gymnastics at Illinois as Ashley Johnston's first new hire.

Ashley Johnston has been on the job as the new head coach of Alabama gymnastics for a little over a month now, and made a big splash in the gymnastics world Tuesday afternoon with the announcement of Justin Spring as an assistant coach. 

"“I have known Justin since our days on the U.S. National team, and I am beyond excited to add his experience, enthusiasm and spirit to our program,” Johnston said in a press release. “As an Olympian and an NCAA champion as both a gymnast and a coach, he knows exactly what it takes to excel at the highest level in this sport and he has demonstrated time and again that he can share his knowledge and experience in a way that benefits his student-athletes the most. 

"Not only is he a tremendous technical coach, but he brings such joy and energy to everything that he does and shares our philosophy of developing the whole person and putting student-athlete wellness first.”

It was previously announced that Gina Quinlan would be staying on staff from the Dana Duckworth tenure as an assistant coach. Quinlan worked mostly with the vault lineup last season, and Spring is expected to work with all aspects of the program as an assistant coach. 

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He previously spent the last 16 years at Illinois with 12 being the head coach of the men's gymnastics program. He led the Illini to a national title in 2012, and was also a gymnast there from 2003-2006. Spring also won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with the U.S National Team. 

"I’m so excited to take on this incredible opportunity at one of the best gymnastics programs in the country,” Spring said. “Ashley has put together a cohesive staff that is committed to developing student-athletes in and outside the gym. I look forward to creating a life changing experience for these young women and bringing home SEC and NCAA championships.”