By Tom Degun

Ron Lykins head and shouldersFebruary 17 - University of Missouri's Ron Lykins has been named new head coach of the United States men's wheelchair basketball team where he will be charged with leading the side to a podium spot at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

The 51-year-old is a veteran coach in the sport, having led the US women's wheelchair basketball at four Paralympics, but Rio 2016 will be his first Games as the men's team head coach after he was appointed by the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA).

Lykins takes over a United States side that won bronze at the London 2012 Paralympics after they defeated hosts Great Britain 61-46 in the third place play-off under Jim Glatch, who had held the job for two years.

"It's a really exciting role and one I'm looking forward to," Lykins said.

"Each Paralympics just gets better and better.

"I remember in Beijing, at the 2008 Paralympic Games, when the Closing Ceremonies were going on and I didn't want to leave the track.

"Rio will be a great challenge and I'm looking forward to making the most out of this and taking in everything."

US wheelchair basketballThe US men’s wheelchair basketball team won bronze at the London 2012 Paralympics with victory over Great Britain in the third place play-off

One of Lykins' first jobs in the role will be to hire his backroom coaching staff while the US players for the 2013-2014 season will be recruited in the trials, which the new head coach will oversee.

Before the Rio 2016 Paralympics, the next major competition for the US men's wheelchair basketball team will be the Wheelchair Basketball World Championship which is due to take place next year in Goyang City in South Korea.

The competition will offer qualification spots for Rio 2016.

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