Chairman of the USA Team Handball Board of Directors, Jeff Utz, announced today the selection of veteran USA handball player and AAC representative, Matt Van Houten, as the new USATH General Manager. The Board of Directors voted in Van Houten after months of searching and interviewing various candidates. The Board carefully considered Van Houten and a second finalist a week ago. The interviews were conducted confidentially, with the Board refusing to disclose the name of the other finalist.
Current General Manager Dave Gascon has known Van Houten for many years and holds him in high regard, "Matt Van Houten is a good man. The handball community, our membership, and our national team players will find him easy with whom to work and a man of integrity. He has years of involvement working with the US Olympic Committee, which should greatly benefit USA Team Handball. Mariusz (Wartalowicz) and I are looking forward to spending time with Matt to catch him up to speed on all the great things going on in our sport."
Gascon indicated he has already spoken with Van Houten about the highest priority issues facing USATH and expects him to take over leadership responsibilities by November 1.
Matt Van Houten is an attorney licensed in both Colorado and New York. He served as the Chair of the USOC Athletes' Advisory Council from 2009-2012 and the AAC representative for the sport of Team Handball from 2005-2008. During his tenure as Chair of the AAC, Van Houten served on the Tagliabue Panel, which was responsible for the 2010 USOC Bylaw reform, the NGB/AAC Best Practices Task Force, and the USOC CEO search committee. Van Houten is currently a member of the USOC Paralympic Advisory Committee. Van Houten has extensive experience with USA Team Handball, serving as a member of the Board of Directors, as well the general counsel for USA Team Handball from 2005–2006.
Van Houten graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1989 and Albany Law School of Union University in 1995. Van Houten was quite a player in his day, and was a member of the USA Team Handball Men’s National Team from 1990–1992 and from 2002–2007. Van Houten competed in the 1991 Pan American Games in Havana, Cuba, and the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, earning a bronze medal in each of the two competitions. He is a member of the New York Athletic Club handball team, and has been a part of numerous national championship teams both for NYAC and Knight Air.
He has a daughter, Cody, who is currently a freshman at the University of Colorado in Boulder.