Julian Nagelsmann's astonishing success with Hoffenheim has opened the eyes of clubs to new possibilities when it comes to appointing a first-team coach.
The Sinsheim club exceeded all expectations last term as they secured a fourth-place Bundesliga finish, forcing many of their top-flight rivals to sit up and take notice.
In June, Schalke appointed none other than the man who outshone Nagelsmann at the DFB's Cologne-based coaching academy in 2013, Domenico Tedesco. The Rossano-born tactician is not the only young coach in Germany’s top flight looking to follow in Nagelsmann’s footsteps this season, however.
Watch: Top-of-the-class Tedesco and Nagelsmann are leading the new wave of Bundesliga coaches
bundesliga.com has the lowdown on Nagelsmann, Tedesco and four of their colleagues who are leading the Bundesliga’s youthful coaching revolution…
Julian Nagelsmann Hoffenheim, 30
The youngest boss ever appointed to a permanent position at the head of a Bundesliga club at the age of 28 when he replaced Huub Stevens in February 2016, Nagelsmann has quite brilliantly made the step up from youth football to the senior game.
Having masterfully calmed fears of relegation in his first few months, Nagelsmann then oversaw the best season in Hoffenheim’s young history, guiding his side to fourth place in 2016/17, qualifying for the UEFA Champions League for the first time ever.
Liverpool may have denied them a group-stage berth, there is the prospect of a fruitful UEFA Europa League campaign. And though Braga defeated his charges in their opening group stage encounter, Nagelsmann and his team showed with their dramatic come-from-behind win against Mainz on Matchday 7 they should never been written off.
Domenico Tedesco Schalke, 32
He may have finished top of the class four years ago, but Tedesco had precious little experience of senior football when he was appointed this summer, after 11 matches in charge of Erzgebirge Aue. That is 11 more than Nagelsmann had when he was appointed Hoffenheim boss, though, and it was all it took for Tedesco to mastermind a successful Bundesliga 2 survival bid.
"If I have to choose between winning 4-3 and 1-0, I'd take 4-0," Tedesco joked, giving an insight into his humour and his football philosophy, which promises to deliver both a spectacle and results if the Royal Blues' squad can follow it. After a season of struggle under Markus Weinzierl last year, a relative golden oldie at 42, Schalke fans will be hoping the man who bettered Nagelsmann in the classroom will do the same in the dug-out in 2017/18.
Alexander Nouri Werder Bremen, 38
A further member of the DFB's coach academy class of 2013, Nouri was - like predecessor Viktor Skripnik - promoted from within at the Weser Stadium where club tradition has a strong hold and has, notably under Thomas Schaaf, brought success. Survival was the only 'S'-word Bremen were focussed on when Nouri succeeded Skripnik in September 2016, however, and the new man's impact was not immediate. But it eventually came, and how!
Watch: Bremen dismantle Ingolstadt in 2016/17
In February, a dismal run of four straight defeats was the prelude to an 11-match unbeaten run that catapulted Bremen not only to safety, but to the brink of the European places, a possibility simply unfathomable a couple of months beforehand. "Firstly, he had to take control of a difficult situation, which he did with panache," said sporting director Frank Baumann in May as Nouri was rewarded with a contract extension. "In the Rückrunde, he has led the team step-by-step into the top half of the table. We want to build on that and further develop Werder together."
Manuel Baum Augsburg, 38
Bavarian-born like Nagelsmann, Baum's whole career as a modest player and now as an emerging coach has all been within easy reach of his hometown, Landshut. A former teacher who merely planned on taking a three-year break from the classroom when he was appointed Augsburg's youth academy head coach in 2014, Baum's approach is one honed in front of his pupils.
"He wants to keep control, hold the reins and see his thing through," Julian Hummels, brother of Mats, and a former player of Baum's at Unterhaching, his only major coaching post before taking charge at the WWK Arena. "He doesn't tend to leave his players a lot of autonomy." Initially assistant coach under Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich, Baum then embarked on an unusual co-coach set-up with Claus Schromm before assuming sole control.
After taking over from Dirk Schuster and keeping the club in the top flight, Baum has started like a train at Augsburg in 2017/18, the fans dreaming of another single-digit finish.
Hannes Wolf Stuttgart, 36
Ever since gaining promotion to the Bundesliga with a youthful side in 1977, Stuttgart have had a reputation for giving young players a chance. They did so again - and were rewarded with the Meisterschale - in 2007. Those results came on the pitch, so Wolf's appointment in September 2016 at the head of a big club still smarting from relegation marked a significant strategic shift.
An unremarkable striker in an unimpressive playing career, Wolf's greater ability to shine with his boots off was spotted by Borussia Dortmund where he won back-to-back national titles with the BVB Under-17 side. "We're firmly convinced Hannes Wolf really suits VfB Stuttgart as a football expert and as a person," said the club's sporting director, Jan Schindelmeiser, after Wolf's appointment. Promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking in 2016/17 has proven him right.
Sandro Schwarz Mainz, 38
Mainz have done this before: Jürgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel, Martin Schmidt … all three were successful with the 05ers' first team after coming through the club, Klopp as a player, the other two as coaches. Schwarz has even succeeded Schmidt before, stepping into the reserve team role vacated by his predecessor in February 2015.
"He is exactly the right coach for our team and our club," said sporting director Rouven Schröder as Schwarz was appointed shortly after Schmidt had secured Bundesliga football for the 2017/18 campaign. "The aggressive, courageous way his team's play is deeply rooted in the club's philosophy."
In addition to being steeped in 'the Mainz way', Schwarz has worked as an assistant coach to Sami Hyypia and Sascha Lewandowski at Leverkusen, Andre Schubert at Paderborn and Michael Frontzeck at Hannover, adding practical experience to reinforce his philosophy.