Martin Branick, right, is set to take over as USA Team Handball interim chief executive from Ryan Johnson, left ©IHF

USA Team Handball (USATH) has appointed Martin Branick as its interim chief executive from the start of next month to take over from the departing Ryan Johnson.

Johnson stepped down after the United States ranked 20th at the International Handball Federation Men's World Championship last month on its first appearance at the event since 2001.

His resignation is effective from February 28, and he is set to work with his interim successor until the end of the month to ensure a smooth transition, with the Board of Directors having begun a search for a permanent chief executive.

Johnson reflected fondly on his time as chief executive.

"I am overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity to work in this incredible sport, and the passion and commitment of our community is second to none," he said.

"For the time being, I look forward to working with Martin to ensure the momentum of the organisation is not disrupted by my departure.

"He has been my right-hand man for much of the last two years and I am supremely confident in his abilities to perform the Interim CEO role."

Branick was appointed as USATH event and membership development coordinator in 2021, having previously served as digital development and partnership services manager for Danish football club Vejle Boldklub.

The United States ranked 20th on their return to the IHF Men's World Championship last month ©Getty Images
The United States ranked 20th on their return to the IHF Men's World Championship last month ©Getty Images

The interim chief executive wants to play a role in helping the US prepare for its home Olympic Games in 2028 in Los Angeles.

"USA Team Handball has a vibrant and passionate community that loves the sport and works daily to grow and develop handball," he said.

"There is still a lot to be done leading up to the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, but our community is critical in preparing USA Team Handball for 2028 and beyond.

"It will truly take a village for us to be successful."

USATH President and chair Michael Wall thanked Johnson for his "energy, enthusiasm, and diligence" in the role.

The US has not competed in men's or women's handball at the Olympics since its last home Games at Atlanta 1996.