INDIANAPOLIS – 2003 World Championships Team Head Coach Kevin Mazeika will lead the 2004 Men’s U.S. Olympic Team to the upcoming Olympic Games in Athens.

Mazeika was selected during a conference call today among the Men’s Program Committee members, concluding an interview and evaluation process that began in August.

“Kevin has achieved a track record of success as both an individual coach and as a National Team coach, including the most recent World Championships, and has proven that he is more than capable of guiding the U.S. Men’s Olympic Team to a peak performance in Athens,” said USA Gymnastics President Bob Colarossi. “Through his involvement in the National Team Program for the past 16 years, Kevin has garnered the confidence of the athletes and his fellow coaches, plus the international reputation and experience to achieve a high level of success.”

Mazeika, 43, of Houston, led the U.S. Men’s Team to the team silver medal at the 2003 World Championships in Anaheim, Calif. The 2003 Worlds was the most successful World Championships for the United States since 1979.

“I’m grateful and honored to be named head coach by USA Gymnastics. This team will be one of the greatest Olympic Teams ever assembled,” Mazeika said. “I’m looking forward to doing the same things as I did in 2001 and 2003 with the Worlds Teams – developing a very detailed planning process that will lead toward success in Athens, not only to win a medal, but a team gold medal.”

Mazeika was the head coach for the 2001 World Championships Team as well, which won silver in Ghent, and oversees the training for 2001 World Champion Sean Townsend, as well as Senior National Team member Todd Thornton. Mazeika currently serves as head coach of the Houston Gymnastics Academy.

Mazeika began coaching men’s gymnastics in 1984 and has served on the National Team Coaching Staff since 1988. Over the past five years he has coached at more than 30 international competitions and has been head or assistant coach at 12 international team events.

The U.S. men enter 2004 fresh off the program’s most successful season since 1979. Team USA finished second to China at the 2003 World Championships, narrowing what once was a nearly five-point gap at the 2000 Olympics to just over seven-tenths by the 2003 Worlds. Paul Hamm won the first-ever men’s World all-around title plus floor exercise gold, with Jason Gatson finishing seventh on still rings and eighth all-around, and Blaine Wilson taking sixth on both parallel bars and rings. The men’s program also captured four medals at the Pan American Games.

Next on Mazeika’s agenda will be analyzing the deep U.S. talent pool during a National Team Training Camp, Jan. 21-16 in Colorado Springs followed by the 2004 Winter Cup Challenge, scheduled for Feb. 6-7 in Las Vegas, during which the 2004 National Team will be selected.

USA Gymnastics will now submit Mazeika’s appointment for final approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.