The No. 1 Gymnastics Podcast in the Galaxy

83: University of Georgia Head Coach Danna Durante

danna durante georgia head coach

University of Georgia head coach, Danna Durante.


This Week's Interview

This week’s guest is Danna Durante (née Danna Lister). She grew up as an elite gymnast in Oklahoma. After the 1988 Olympic Trials she went on to a successful career at Arizona State where she scored 5 perfect 10’s, then became a judge and college coach. She had a very rocky start at the University of Georgia. It was easy to see that the team was still loyal to outgoing coach Jay Clarke and reluctant to embrace a new head coach. But in her first year, she lead Georgia to their first NCAA Championship final in four years. Entering her second year at Georgia, we discuss:

  • If she will be wearing sequence gowns and heels like her predecessor Suzanne Yoculan.
  • Lindsey Cheek’s vault – fans want it to get a 10 already for crying out loud!
  • Collaborating on choreography with Georgia alum, Cassidy McComb 
  • How she got her very divided, Jay Clarke devoted team on board when she took over.
  • If former head coach Yoculan stays in touch or gives counsel.
  • Creating a welcoming environment for both atheist, agnostic and religious student-athletes.
  • How she determines when to push the difficulty level with athletes like Brandi Jay who’s doing a full-out on floor.
  • How her college boyfriend made a gym-fantasy marriage proposal come true.
  • Making a gymnastics coach marriage work.

Guest Links

Danna Durante on Twitter.

The 2014 GymDog show. 2013 GymDog show.

Danna Durante (Lister) 1988 Olympic Trials article and results.

Related Episodes

Related Photos

danna lister durante asu
Danna Lister in her college days at ASU.

Related Videos

Joe Durante proposes to Danna Lister at a gymnastics meet.

This week’s playlist includes Danna as an elite, some of her greatest gymnasts.

2013 Georgia GymDog Show Playlist

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10 years ago

Thank you soooo much for having Danna Durante on the show! Georgia is my favorite NCAA team so I was really interested to hear what she had to say. I believe that she has done an amazing job both last year and this year in turning around the program. She sounds lik a person with such a positive outlook on things who really loves what she does.. Thanks again! Go Gymdogs!

10 years ago

To me, I’m afraid, Danna’s answer to the religious question was abstract rather than concrete. It resembled that of a school principal facing media questions in the wake of a terrible bullying incident and pointing to the school’s anti-bullying policy on its website.

It’s fine (and easy) to be rhetorically anti-bullying, but what are you actually doing?

Similarly, it’s fine to assert religious non-discrimination in the abstract, but as long as the prayer huddles (etc) continue, the peer pressure of the majority to keep your mouth shut and to go along sustains an environment uncomfortable for and hostile to non-Christians.

Unless and until they clean up their acts – with deeds not words – the Alabama and Georgia programs will continue to have “Non-Believers Need Not Apply” signs hung around them.

Oh, and a retrospective apology to Kat Ding wouldn’t go amiss either.

NCAA GymCastic Live Show in Fort Worth, TX April 19, 2024

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