On Tuesday, Schalke appointed Dimitrios Grammozis, a relatively unknown coach, as the club’s fifth coach in a tumultuous season.
Grammozis, 42, a former midfielder with 143 Bundesliga appearances for Hamburger SV, Kaiserslautern, and Cologne, has signed a deal that runs until June 2022, according to the Gelsenkirchen-based club.
The Greek coach, who was born in Germany, takes over a team that is almost likely to drop to the second division. Schalke is still in the last position in the Bundesliga, having won just one game out of 23 so far. With 11 rounds left, it’s nine points away from safety.
In his new position as sporting director, Peter Knäbel said, “We are confident that we have found the right coach in Dimitrios Grammozis for the last third of the season.”
On Sunday, the club fired Knäbel’s predecessor, Jochen Schneider, as part of a purge of senior club employees. Christian Gross, the team’s fourth coach this season, as well as team coordinator Sascha Riether, lead fitness coach Werner Leuthard, and assistant coach Rainer Widmayer, were all fired.
Mike Büskens and Sven Piepenbrock were to assist Grammozis in his first training session on Wednesday.
Over two months, Schalke only managed five points from Gross’ ten league games in charge. He led the team to its only victory of the season, snapping a 30-game winless streak in the Bundesliga, but he was unable to build on it.
Coach David Wagner was fired in September, and his replacement, Manuel Baum, was hired in December. Before appointing Gross, the squad played two games under stand-in coach Huub Stevens.
“We are all aware of the sporting situation, but we still have 11 Bundesliga games to play, and we want to finish them as effectively as possible,” said Knäbel. “That is why, in our opinion, Dimitrios is the best choice, both professionally and personally.”
Grammozis began his coaching career with Bochum’s youth teams, rising to assistant coach with the senior team before taking over as coach at Darmstadt in the second division.
On Friday, he makes his Bundesliga debut as a coach against Mainz, another relegation-threatened club.