Austrian ski federation signs Sepp Brunner as downhill coach

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INNSBRUCK, Austria (AP) Austrian skier Matthias Mayer will defend his Olympic downhill title next year under a new coach.

The Austrian ski federation says it has appointed Sepp Brunner as head of the men's downhill team, replacing Florian Winkler.

The 58-year-old Brunner worked in Switzerland for the past two decades. He was the personal coach of Sonja Nef when she won the 2001 giant slalom world title, and he held various positions with the Swiss men's team since 2004, helping Beat Fuez to downhill gold at the world championships in St. Moritz in February.

Austrian men won only two downhills in the last World Cup season - Max Franz in Val Gardena, Italy, and Hannes Reichelt in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The team didn't win any downhills the previous season.