In what must be a first for the Bundesliga, Hoffenheim have named two new head coaches in the space of 24 hours. Huub Stevens is to be followed by the league's youngest-ever Bundesliga coach.
When reporters learned of a press conference to unveilHoffenheim's new head coach
on Tuesday, they probably were only expecting to hear from the61-year-old Stevens,
who had been named as the successor to thesacked Markus Gisdol
on Monday. Sporting director Alexander Rosen, though, had something of a rabbit up his sleeve.
Before introducing Stevens, whose contract runs through the end of the current season, Rosen announced that the Dutchman's successor had already been found. Steven is to be succeeded on July 1 by Julian Nagelsmann, the coach of Hoffenheim's under-19 team.
Not only is the decision unusual, coming just a day after Steven's appointment was announced, but many will see it as risky, as Nagelsmann will be just 28 years old when he takes the post, and he is still working on the coaching badges needed to take charge of a Bundesliga club. Assuming Stevens manages to keep Hoffenheim - who are currently in second-last place - in the Bundesliga, Nagelsmann would become the youngest head coach in the league's history.
Speaking to reporters, Rosen described the club's decision to appoint Nagelsmann, whom he described as one of the brightest young coaching talents in German football, not as risky, but rather as "courageous."
"We are convinced about his quality and his authority," Rosen said.
Nagelsmann did not appear at the press conference, but issued a statement saying that he "was looking forward to this exciting task" and that was thankful to the club for entrusting him with this opportunity.