In appointing Sandro Schwarz as their chosen replacement for Martin Schmidt, who was relieved of his duties as head coach after the final match of the season, Mainz have stuck to their tried-and-trusted tradition of promoting from within.

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The club’s new top man had most recently been coaching in Germany’s third division, where he was in charge of the under-23 squad. Now, Schwarz directly succeeds Schmidt for the second time, having initially filled the void in the U-23s when his Swiss predecessor replaced Kasper Hjulmand as Mainz first-team coach in 2015.

Join us on a trip down memory lane, from Jürgen Klopp to Thomas Tuchel, as we look at Mainz's previous home-grown head coaches...

Jürgen Klopp (February 2001 - June 2008)

Before he rose to cult-figure status by leading Borussia Dortmund to two Bundesliga titles, Klopp got his first job in charge of a professional team with Mainz, who had been a long-term fixture in Bundesliga 2 at the time.  

Jürgen Klopp (l.) and Thomas Tuchel (r.) both cut their teeth as coaches at Mainz.
Jürgen Klopp (l.) and Thomas Tuchel (r.) both cut their teeth as coaches at Mainz.

Klopp was first made interim coach at the 05ers just a few days after playing for the club against Greuther Fürth. Long considered the on-field mouthpiece of the coaching team, he was officially given the job on a permanent basis and quickly guided his former team-mates out of the relegation zone with six wins in his first seven matches in charge.

Success under Klopp continued with consecutive fourth-placed finishes before Mainz’s maiden promotion to the Bundesliga in 2004. They enjoyed three seasons in the top flight before returning to the second tier for the 2007/08 season. In April 2008, Klopp said he would step down as manager if Mainz failed to earn promotion. On the final day of the campaign the club came up short - finishing fourth - and their charismatic coach kept his word.

Thomas Tuchel (August 2009 - May 2014)

Mainz returned to the Bundesliga the following season under Jörn Anderson. Yet despite that achievement, Anderson’s tenure was terminated just four days before the top-flight campaign was due to start. With little time to spare, the club's hierarchy turned to the young coach who had led their U-19s to the German title in his first year at the helm.

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Tuchel was an instant hit. After drawing their first two matches, Mainz secured a famous 2-1 win over visiting Bayern Munich and went on to enjoy a comfortable campaign, never dropping below 11th in the table.

The following season cemented Tuchel’s status as a young coach to watch. Spearheaded by the Bruchweg Boys - Andre Schürrle, Lewis Holtby and Adam Szalai - their up-tempo, attacking brand of football helped the 05ers equal a Bundesliga record of seven consecutive victories to start a season. Mainz won four of their final five matches to finish fifth - their highest-ever placing - to secure a berth in the UEFA Europa League.

After the final match of the 2013/14 season - and a seventh-placed finish - Tuchel announced his wish to leave the club one year before his contract expired.

Martin Schmidt (February 2015 - May 2017)

With Tuchel gone, Mainz brought in Kasper Hjulmand. Despite the early disappointment of failing to win their Europa League qualifier, Mainz started their Bundesliga campaign without a loss in their first eight matches under the Dane. By Matchday 21, however, they had plummeted down the table to 14th place and Hjulmand was let go.

Martin Schmidt stepped up to save Mainz in the 2014/15 season.
Martin Schmidt stepped up to save Mainz in the 2014/15 season.

Mainz again looked within for answers and promoted Schmidt, who had been in charge of the U-23s since the 2010/11 season, leading his side to promotion to the third tier. He quickly steered the first team away from the threat of relegation and into relative mid-table safety.

In his first full season in charge, Schmidt guided the Mainz to a fifth-placed finish and a spot in the Europa League group stage. Although they lost just one of their six matches on the continent, however, they failed to reach the knockout stages.

The club then spent much of the second half of the 2016/17 season worrying about their top-flight status. Despite successfully avoiding the drop - thanks to a dramatic comeback win over local rivals Eintracht Frankfurt - the Mainz board decided it was time for a clean break once come the conclusion of the campaign.

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