Marco Kurz has been named as the new head coach at Hoffenheim. It is a big task for the 43-year-old, who will to hope fix the club's struggling fortunes, something he couldn't do with Kaiserslautern last season.
"Marco Kurz will be the new head coach of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim," the club announced in a statement Tuesday. He will formally take over on January 1, 2013.
The former Kaiserslautern coach will be tasked with righting what has been a sinking ship at Hoffenheim. The club have lost their last six matches in a row.
Hoffenheim currently lie in the relegation play-off spot with just 12 points, seven less than 16th-place Wolfsburg. Only the dismal play of Augsburg and newly-promoted Greuther Fürth has assured Hoffenheim of dropping any lower in the table.
Fans had hoped that the appointment of Markus Babbel last February would bring consistency to the wavering club. He arrived with relatively high hopes after having achieved some success at Hertha Berlin, winning promotion to the Bundesliga in 2010. But after just 29 games at Hoffenheim, of which he was only able to win seven, Babbel was let go earlier this month.
Frank Kramer was appointed interim coach after Babbel's exit. With Kurz's hiring, Kramer returns to his old position as coach of Hoffenheim's U-23 team.
Hoffenheim is partly owned and supported by German SAP software tycoon Dietmar Hopp.
Success and disaster at Kaiserslautern
Kurz last coached Kaiserslautern in the Bundesliga. He took over at the club in 2009, getting them promoted to the Bundesliga in his first attempt. The following campaign, Kurz's first time coaching in the top flight, was by all accounts a success, as Kaiserslautern finished an impressive 7th place, above the likes of Hamburg, Stuttgart, Werder Bremen and Schalke.
But last season was a disaster from the start, with Kaiserslautern going their first five matches without a win. He left the club in March of 2011 after a 16-game winless streak. Kaiserslautern were later relegated after finishing last in the Bundesliga with just 23 points.
Prior to coaching Kaiserslautern, Kurz spent two seasons at the helm of 1860 Munich.
During his playing career as a defender beginning in the late 1980's, Kurz made over 100 appearances for both Nuremberg and 1860 before retiring with regional league club SC Pfullendorf in 2005.
His most successful stints as a player came when he won the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund in 1995, and the UEFA Cup with Schalke in 1997.