Interim women's national team coach selected for Mexico City Tournament

Oct. 27, 2008, 12 a.m. (ET)
Marko Brezic will coach the USA Women's National Team in the upcoming Division I tournament in Mexico. He will be assisted by Edina Batar, a stalwart in the Women's National Team since 2002, who is rehabilitating a knee injury.

Brezic, a native of Croatia, brings more than 20 years of handball coaching experience. He worked with USA Women's National Team in 2005 and also coached the team during the Chicago Inter Challenge Tournament a week ago.

In addition to coaching the first division club, Medvescak Zagreb for more than a decade, Brezic served as an assistant coach for Croatia's women's national teams and worked with the acclaimed Velimir Klijaic and Nenad Zvonarek.

"It is my goal to bring success to USA Team Handball," Brezic said. "I'm very grateful for the coaching committee's confidence in me as coach of the USA Women in Mexico."

Edina Batar, a member of the women's national team who was sidelined by recent knee surgery, has agreed to assist Brezic in Mexico.  Batar has played team handball for 21 years since her childhood in Hungary. She joined the women's national team as a player in 2002. This will be her first experience coaching at the international level.

"Marko has a passion for coaching, developing players and winning, while Edina has been through many battles with this team. Together, we think they will provide great leadership for the USA Women's team," said Steve Pastorino, general manager of USA Team Handball.

Up to six teams are expected to compete in Mexico City, Nov. 22-26, for two berths in the 2009 Pan American Championships. USA, Chile and Mexico are the only nations that have confirmed their participation.

Brezic was selected following the procedures outlined by the United States Olympic Committee. USA Team Handball has not had a designated coach of the USA Women's National Team since 2007 - and no decision has been made on filling the position on a long-term basis.