Coggin, Sabatino Join USA Team Handball

Sept. 19, 2008, 12 a.m. (ET)

USA Team Handball today announced the appointment of two staff members.

Patric Coggin, a 1999 graduate of the Air Force Academy and three-year captain with the Air Force Falcons Handball Club, is USA Team Handball's first regional director - appointed to manage the organization's affairs in the Southwest out of his resident state of Texas.

Coggin is the first of five regional directors to emerge from an interview pool of more than 250 candidates.  He recently completed his Air Force duty where he was an A-10 fighter jet pilot and instructor. Coggin will oversee grass roots programs, club relations, tournaments and other programs in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Kansas.

Matt Sabatino, a 1997 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and former co-captain and coach of the U.S. Army Handball team, will serve as Armed Forces Liaison - an unpaid position that nonetheless carries significant responsibility as USA Team Handball charts a course for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Among other duties, Sabatino is organizing USA Team Handball's efforts to attract top athletes to the World Class Athlete Program - which allows military members to train and work full-time in the sport of their choice. The first members of the Team Handball WCAP program are expected to be announced in 2009.

"Team handball flourishes in Colorado Springs (Air Force) and West Point, N.Y. (Army)" said USA Team Handball general manager Steve Pastorino. "We're excited that we have graduates of each of these illustrious institutions to help us build the future of handball in America."

Announcements on other regional directors will be forthcoming in the near future.