What new Alabama gymnastics coach Ashley Priess-Johnston said about her vision for the program

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New Alabama gymnastics coach Ashley Priess-Johnston laid out her plan for the future during her introductory news conference on Friday.

She has served in roles both as a player and coach in multiple levels of gymnastics and wants to use those experiences to guide Alabama on and off the mat.

"Those experiences have allowed me to develop a holistic vision for this program and my No. 1 priority is to value student-athlete wellbeing above all else," Priess-Johnston said. "Make a classroom 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 the sport.

While introducing Johnston, Alabama athletics director Greg Byrne discussed how the feedback he received on Johnston featured how she worked with her gymnasts outside the gym to develop them as people.

"Nothing but positive feedback," Bryne said. "Spoke very highly of her coaching ability, but what stood out even more was the comments made outside of the gym. Her care and passion, how she develops an entire person in every aspect."

Johnston laid out her goal for the program on the mat, where the Crimson Tide has made eight of the last 10 NCAA Championships but hasn't won a title since 2012, when she was on the team.

"We will compete for championships and create an atmosphere that is second to none," Johnston said. "We will strive tirelessly to enhance the tradition of excellence and legacy of championships that is Alabama gymnastics."

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Alabama gymnastic coach Ashley Priess-Johnston at her introductory press conference at the Mal Moore Facility.
Alabama gymnastic coach Ashley Priess-Johnston at her introductory press conference at the Mal Moore Facility.

Johnston returns to the Crimson Tide after being the associate head coach at Auburn. She helped Alabama win two NCAA championships as a gymnast at Alabama under Sarah Patterson.

Johnston looks to take lessons from Patterson as she starts her first college head coaching job.

"I learned that from two of the absolute best coaches I could ever ask for," she said. "I am forever grateful to Sarah and David Patterson (Sarah's husband and longtime assistant coach) for modeling integrity, passion and a championship mindset, and empowering me to learn the value of leadership."

Johnston replaces Dana Duckworth, who stepped during the offseason after eight years leading the Crimson Tide.

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Ashley Priess-Johnston: What new Alabama gymnastics coach said