Olympic gold medallist Tim Foster is to take over as head coach to the Swiss national rowing squad until the 2008 Games in Beijing.
Foster (centre) won gold in Sydney in 2000
But he will remain as part of the UK Sport-sponsored Elite Coach Programme and is expected to return to the GB squad in time for London 2012.
Foster retired after taking gold in the coxless four at Sydney in 2000.
"This is a great opportunity to lead a squad and put into practice some of the skills I've learnt," he said.
UK Sport director of performance Liz Nicholl was unworried by an potential conflict of interest.
"It looks as though international experience with another rowing programme, especially in a head coach role, may be the best way of gaining significant experience in the short-term," she said.
"Talking with Tim, I am convinced that his long-term aim is to deliver success as part of the GB system."