There is no doubt that Alabama head gymnastics coach Dana Duckworth is the epitome of what it means to be “Built By Bama” after being a part of NCAA Championship teams as a student-athlete (1991), volunteer assistant coach (2002) and assistant coach (2011 and 2012). Her championship lineage and proven coaching ability led her to be named the sixth head coach in The University of Alabama’s storied gymnastics history – and just the second in 36 years – on July 15, 2014.
Her first season as head coach came in 2015, her 20th year as a member of the Alabama gymnastics program, including four years as an athlete, nine years as a volunteer coach and six as an assistant coach.
In addition to being part of NCAA team championship teams in each phase of her Crimson Tide career, she also helped lead Alabama to Southeastern Conference titles as a gymnast (1990), a volunteer coach (2003), as an assistant coach (2009, 2011 and 2014) and in her first season as a head coach (2015). During her years as a full-time assistant coach (2008-14), Alabama was the only team in the nation to finish in the top-4 at the NCAA Championships in all six seasons, a streak she has continued in her first two seasons as head coach when the Tide finished fourth (2015) and third (2016).
As the Tide’s chief choreographer, Duckworth coached three Alabama gymnasts to NCAA floor exercise titles – Ashley Miles (2004), Morgan Dennis (2007) and Geralen Stack-Eaton (2011). As a gymnast, she was a member of Alabama’s 1991 team that won the NCAA Championship. She won back-to-back individual NCAA Balance Beam Championships and was an eight-time All-American and a two-time Academic All-American. She also earned both NCAA and SEC Postgraduate Scholarships.
Active in the community, Duckworth is a co-founder and past president of the ReadBAMARead Foundation, which is dedicated to restocking the libraries of the three elementary schools destroyed by the 2011 tornados, as well as having an overarching mission of increasing literacy across West Alabama. For her work in the community, she was honored with the Crimson Tide’s 2012 David DeSantis Community Service Award.
In addition her championship rings, Duckworth is also the proud owner of a pair of degrees from The University of Alabama, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications and Film in 1993 and a Master’s of Business Administration in 1998.