Sweden head coach Marko Pfeifer quits to lead Austrian slalom team around Marcel Hirscher

VIENNA - Ski coach Marko Pfeifer has quit as men's head coach of Sweden after three years and will return to his native Austria to lead the slalom team.

Pfeifer signed a two-year contract with the Austrian ski federation to replace Michael Pircher, who is going to work exclusively with slalom and overall World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher, the federation said on Wednesday.

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"It will be a very important season with the Olympics," Pfeifer said in the statement. "We have to optimize the conditions for our established athletes and have to build a young slalom team around Marcel Hirscher."

Under Pfeifer, Sweden's Andre Myhrer won the 2011-12 World Cup slalom title.

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