David Wagner becomes new head coach of Schalke 04

The Royal Blues have appointed a new head coach for the upcoming season: a highly motivated David Wagner. The 47-year-old (born: 19th October 1971) has signed a three year contract with Schalke 04 until the summer of 2022. Wagner had been head coach of Premier League outfit Huddersfield Town until January this year.

“We are delighted to have David Wagner join us. He perfectly fits in with our requirements; someone who coaches his team to take charge during games, to play with intensity and with a high tempo. He is also someone however, who can influence the team with his personality and improve players too,” explained Jochen Schneider.

We are delighted to have David Wagner join us. He perfectly fits in with our requirements.

Jochen Schneider

“I know from personal experience just how strong Schalke 04 can be when the team, club, and the fans are all working together,” David Wagner said. “Being able to immerse myself in this environment once more and being able to help turn the situation around were big factors in my decision to return to the Bundesliga.” The new head coach will decide who will make up the rest of his coaching team in the weeks to come.

A player at Schalke between 1995 and 1997

Wagner’s history has a bit of Royal Blue in it already. The new head coach played 36 games for Schalke, recording three goals between 1995-97. In that time, he featured in 29 Bundesliga matches (two goals), five UEFA Cup matches (one goal), as well as appearing in two DFB-Pokals. Wagner also played a role in Schalke finishing third overall in the 1995-96 season. As a result, the club qualified for the Europe League for the first time in 19 years, and went on to win the UEFA Cup in 1997. The US international’s career saw him play for clubs such as Eintracht Frankfurt (1990-91), Mainz 05 (1991-95), FC Gütersloh (1997-99), SV Waldhof (1999) and Darmstadt 98 (1999-2002).

Wagner made his coaching debut in Hoffenheim’s youth academy, where he coached both the U19 (2007-08) and the U17 teams (2008-09). From 2011-15, Wagner worked as the attacking coach for Borussia Dortmund’s second team, who were promoted from the third division in 2012. In November 2015 he took over as head coach of Huddersfield Town, who were playing in England’s second division at the time. Huddersfield’s promotion to the Premier League in 2017, as well as subsequently staying in the top flight the following season were a surprise for many in the UK.

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