Following the flop in St. Louis, and then a cagey keep-her-own-counsel response regarding the future of the program, Gymnastics Coach Dana Duckworth made the decision to part ways with long-time assistant, and Patterson-holdover, Bryan Raschilla.
The next hire that she made, we felt, would tell us a great deal about the direction of the program. Well, Duckworth landed her man, and it is about as impressive a hire as you’ll find in the collegiate ranks:
University of Alabama head coach Dana Duckworth announced Tuesday that Ryan Roberts has joined the Crimson Tide gymnastics staff as an assistant coach.
”Ryan is an outstanding addition to our coaching staff,” Duckworth said. “He is a sharp, highly respected coach with international and national elite experience who has high expectations for himself and his athletes. His gymnast-first philosophy encompasses not only performance, but the mental and physical well-being and long-term development of the total person as well. This belief complements the very foundation of our program.”
Roberts comes to Alabama following five years with the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy (WOGA) in Frisco, Texas. At WOGA, he coached members of the United States, Russian and Ecuadorian national teams. He also coached a trio of USA international Elite gymnasts, three Junior Olympic national champions and numerous gymnasts who earned college scholarships.
Roberts has been the coach of national teams, Olympians, Elites, and collegians, in addition to being a decorated collegiate gymnast himself. He’s also a 20-year Marine veteran, comms officer, and platoon commander. Not exactly the warm and fuzzy resume line item you’d expect to see in collegiate gymnastics. This will be an interesting addition to the staff dynamics, to be sure.
So, lacking a better phrase, and I’m not apologizing for it, Alabama stuck the landing here.
Welcome to Tuscaloosa, Coach Roberts.