INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Feb. 8, 2008 – 2004 Olympic head coach Kevin Mazeika of Houston has been selected as the men’s gymnastics head coach for the 2008 Olympic Games by the Men’s Program Committee, which will submit his nomination to the U.S. Olympic Committee for final approval. Mazeika, the head coach for the 2007 World Championships squad, was at the helm when the U.S. Men’s Team won the team silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games and the 2001 and 2003 World Championships.
“Kevin’s success at previous Olympic Games and the World Championships makes him the right man for this job, and his selection represents the respect and confidence that his peers and the athletes have in his abilities,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “Kevin has demonstrated that he can lead our gymnasts through the demands of training and competition to the medals podium, and we believe his experience will be invaluable in reaching our potential in Beijing.”
“I’m very excited and honored to be named the head coach for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team,” said Mazeika, 46. “I appreciate the Men’s Program Committee’s giving me the opportunity to serve in this position. I have the highest confidence in our U.S. men’s team, and I look forward to working with all of the coaches and athletes toward our goal of returning to the medals podium in Beijing.”
Mazeika has served as the head coach for the U.S. Teams that have recorded three of the USA’s most successful performances in recent history. The men’s silver team medal at the 2004 Olympics was the men’s best finish since they won the team gold medal in 1984, as well as the first team medal in a non-boycotted Olympics since 1932. The U.S. Men’s Team also earned the team silver medal at both the 2001 and 2003 World Championships. Prior to 2001, the men had not won a world team medal since 1979. In 2007, the U.S. men finished fourth at the World Championships, staging a major comeback from the team’s 13th place finish in 2006.
Currently, Mazeika is the men’s program manager at the Houston Gymnastics Academy and owner of Mazeika’s Elite Gymnastics. Among the athletes he coaches are U.S. senior national team members Sean Golden, a member of the 2005 and 2007 World Championships Teams, and Sean Townsend, 2001 parallel bars world champion and a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team and the 2001 silver-medal World Championships Team, as well as Raj Bhavsar, 2004 U.S. Olympic Team alternate and a member of the 2001 and 2003 silver-medal World Championships Teams.
Mazeika, a native of Houston, began coaching men’s gymnastics in 1984 and has served on the National Team Coaching Staff since 1988. Over the past nine years, he has coached at more than 35 international competitions and has been head or assistant coach at 15 international team events.