Former CEO of USA Table Tennis, well respected USOC executive to lead sport’s continued re-organization and establishment on the global stage.
March 24, 2014
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- USA Team Handball today announced the appointment of Mike Cavanaugh as their Chief Executive Officer. Cavanaugh, who has served in senior leadership for the sport before, comes to the position after serving as CEO of USA Table Tennis since 2008. He replaces Matt Van Houten, who left the position last month.
“We are very pleased that a consummate professional and industry insider like Mike has chosen to come back to a sport he knows so well to help us lead a new aggressive direction for the sport in this country,” said Dr. Harvey W. Schiller USATH President and Chairman. “Mike’s work in international sport, as well as his understanding of the opportunities and challenges we face in the short term will make this transition seamless and very effective for a game which is rising in popularity and is poised to make a substantial jump as we head toward a wider global stage in the coming years.”
“It is both humbling and exciting to be returning to a position of leadership within USA Team Handball,” said Cavanaugh. “While there are many challenges to be faced short and long term, it is past time for our sport to be again recognized and well respected within the realms of the U.S. Olympic Committee, the Pan American Team Handball Federation, and the International Handball Federation. The pieces of the puzzle start with our volunteer leadership, and in Dr. Schiller and our Board of Directors, I believe we have the right people at the right time to lead us to the levels we all want to see for USA Team Handball.”
Cavanaugh joined USA Table Tennis from the United States Olympic Committee where he oversaw the sport of Team Handball as the USOC Manager of High Performance from 2006-2007 as that sport went through the process of selecting a new National Governing Body. He has extensive experience with the sport after serving two stints as Executive Director of USA Team Handball from 1986-1997 and again from 1999-2005. During this time he also served on the USOC Games Prep Committee from 1989-1992 and the USOC Committee on Sports for the Disabled from 1993-1996 and then as Chairman in both 1997 and 2000.
Cavanaugh got his administrative start in the Olympic Movement as the Sport Manager and Competition Director for Team Handball for the Los Angeles Organizing Committee for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles , Calif.
Born in Ft. Dodge , Iowa, Cavanaugh graduated from De La Salle Institute in Chicago , Ill. before serving two years of active duty in the United States Army (1970-1972). After leaving the Army, Cavanaugh went on to receive both his Bachelor's (1974) and a Master's (1976) degrees in Kinesiology from UCLA. While attending UCLA, Cavanaugh was also a member of the USA Team Handball National Team from 1973-1976. Following his competitive career, he served as USA Team Handball National Team Coach from 1978-1980. Cavanaugh currently serves as a volunteer coach for the United States Air Force Academy Team Handball Team in Colorado Springs and has done so for a number of years.
About USA Team Handball
USA Team Handball (USATH) is a 501(c)(3) organization and is the National Governing Body (NGB) for the Olympic sport of Team Handball. USA Team Handball, a member of the International Handball Federation (IHF) and the Pan American Team Handball Federation, was certified by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) on April 30, 2008. The mission of USA Team Handball shall be to develop, promote, educate and grow the sport of Team Handball at all levels in the United States and to enable United States athletes to achieve sustained competitive excellence to win medals in international and Olympic competition. USA Team Handball is the only organization recognized by the USOC and IHF to lead handball initiatives in the United States.
The national club structure, culminates in the top two domestic events, College National Championships in April and Open Nationals in May. The Senior Men's and Women's National Teams are now training full time at Auburn University, as a result of the recently founded partnership between AU and USATH, with the goal of competing internationally and qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games as well as developing Youth and Junior National Teams.
The members of the Board of Directors of USA Team Handball are: Dr. Harvey W. Schiller, President; Attila Agoston; Jennie Choi; Bob Djokovich; Tomuke Ebuwei; Mike McNees; David Palmer; David Thompson; and Tom Zelenovic. USA Team Handball is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., with regional staff in Illinois and Alabama.