German Bundesliga side FC Schalke 04 have announced the signing of former player David Wagner as their new head coach on a three year contract until summer 2022. Wagner had been head coach of English Premier League outfit Huddersfield Town AFC 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.
“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.
Wagner’s history has a bit of Royal Blue in it already. The new head coach played 36 games for Schalke 04, 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-Pokal games. 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 1997 UEFA Cup. The US international’s career saw him play for clubs such as Eintracht Frankfurt (1990-91), FSV Mainz 05 (1991-95), FC Gütersloh (1997-99), SV Waldhof Mannheim (1999) and SV Darmstadt 98 (1999-2002).
Wagner made his coaching debut in 1899 Hoffenheim’s youth academy, where he coached both the U-19 (2007-08) and the U-17 teams (2008-09). From 2011-15, Wagner worked as the coach for Borussia Dortmund’s second team, who were promoted to 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.