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Spring appointed new Alabama gymnastic Assistant coach

• Spring joins the staff after his 12th season as the head coach of the Illinois men’s gymnastics team. Spring spent a total of 16 seasons with Illinois.

He led Illinois to 11 top-six finishes at the NCAA Championships and four Big Ten titles with the most recent coming in 2018.

At the 2005 World Championships, Spring finished 10th to qualify as a reserve on high bar and finished 12th on parallel bars.

 Alabama gymnastics on Tuesday announced that Justin Spring will be joining the staff as an assistant coach.

Justin Spring during an exercise Photo/ Twitter

This is according to Alabama head coach Ashley Priess-Johnston in a statement terming Justin as one who knows exactly what it takes to excel at the highest level in this sport.

“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,” head coach Ashley Priess-Johnston said.

“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.”

Spring who is also the Olympic bronze medalist and NCAA champion is joining Tuscaloosa after almost two decades in Champaign, Illinois.

He joins the staff after his 12th season as the head coach of the Illinois men’s gymnastics team. Spring spent a total of 16 seasons with Illinois.

In 2005 he represented the U.S. at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Melbourne, Australia on floor exercise, parallel bars, and high bars as a member of the 2005 U.S. National Team. At the 2005 World Championships, Spring finished 10th to qualify as a reserve on high bar and finished 12th on parallel bars.

In 2005, He became the first Illini to ever win a U.S. National title with his two-day combined high bar score of 18.750, while also scoring a 9.500 on high bar at the 2005 American Cup to take home the silver medal behind Olympic champion Paul Hamm.

He was named National Coach of the Year in 2012 — the youngest coach in NCAA history to do so. He led Illinois to 11 top-six finishes at the NCAA Championships and four Big Ten titles with the most recent coming in 2018.

“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.”

In 12 seasons as the head coach of the Fighting Illini, Spring guided 11 gymnasts to individual NCAA titles. He helped three gymnasts to become NCAA champions in 2010, 2011, and 2012. The Illini racked up 79 All-America honors in Spring’s tenure as head coach.

Spring was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2018. He was the Central Region Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2010 and Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year in 2009.

 

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