Duckworth steps down as gymnastics head coach

Robert Cortez | @robertcortez27, Contributing Writer

Thursday morning, Alabama gymnastics head coach Dana Duckworth and the athletic department announced the eight-year skipper’s decision to step down. 

This decision for Duckworth took much thought and reflection as she has not only been a part of the program since 2015, her inaugural season as a head coach, but since 1989 when she was a collegiate athlete competing for legendary Sarah Patterson and the Crimson Tide.  

This decision was not an easy one as I am forever grateful to our student-athletes, their families, my staff and fellow coaches,” Duckworth said. “The University of Alabama is a special place and I care deeply about the gymnastics program, but after 27 years of involvement, I have decided to step down and focus on my family for now. I have all the confidence in the world in this team and wish nothing but great things for their future.” 

During Duckworth’s time as head coach, the program captured a pair of SEC championships in 2015 and 2021. It was also three-time regional champions and made three super six appearances with a third-place finish being her best finish at nationals in 2016.

Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne and the athletic department begin to search for the program’s next leader. Vault coach Gina Quinlan has been named as the interim head coach.

“We appreciate Coach Duckworth’s contributions to Alabama gymnastics, both as a coach and a student-athlete,” Byrne said. “She has had a lot of success over the years as a coach and as a leader in the community, and we wish Dana and her family all the best going forward.”