altApril 1 - Alan Knipe (pictured) was named today as the new coach of the defending Olympic champion United States men's volleyball team for the London 2012 Games.


The 40-year-old will join USA Volleyball while taking a leave of absence from his job of nine years at Long Beach State, guiding a college programme that produced two members of the 2008 Beijing gold medal squad, David Lee and Scott Touzinsky.


Knipe said: "Anyone who gets involved with volleyball sets their sights on being involved with the Olympic team.


"I don?t think that changes from your playing days to your coaching days."


Knipe replaces Hugh McCutcheon, who took over the US women's national team in January.


McCutcheon said: "Alan will do a great job continuing the success of the men's programme."


Knipe's first competition with the US squad will be at Mexico in June for the Pan American Cup ahead of the start of World League play.


Doug Beal, the chief executive of USA Volleyball, said: "I'm very excited to have Alan lead our men's team toward London in 2012.


"I look for him to continue the momentum the US men built in 2008."