The appointment of Peter Hermann as Edin Terzic’s “desired” assistant at Borussia Dortmund is a major statement by BVB. The 70-year-old has been in the business for over three decades, helping Jupp Heynckes mastermind Bayern Munich’s 2013 treble, and earning a reputation as perhaps the best right-hand man in the Bundesliga.
“Peter is a dyed-in-the-wool coach who’s seen and won it all,” said Meikel Schönweitz, who oversees Germany’s national youth teams, of the man Terzic is said to have explicitly asked for to complete his coaching staff at Signal Iduna Park, alongside Sebastian Geppert.
Hermann has been a feature of German football for over 30 years, appearing on the touchline for over 1,000 games across the Bundesliga, Bundesliga 2 and DFB Cup, as well as 200 European fixtures. Yet he never once did so as a full-time head coach – taking charge of the occasional match as an interim boss – earning him the title ‘perpetual assistant’.
Watch: Bayern’s 2012/13 treble under Heynckes and Hermann
The pinnacle of his coaching career no doubt came alongside Heynckes as the pair guided Bayern to their historic treble in 2012/13. He returned to Munich five years later to provide support to Niko Kovac, this time lifting a domestic double.
His last job brought yet more success, stepping in to help Mike Büskens bring Schalke back to the Bundesliga. He fulfilled that role while also acting as assistant to Christian Wörns with Germany’s U20s. But now his focus lies solely 20 miles to the east of Gelsenkirchen, in Dortmund.
Borussia are just the latest German giant to call upon the services of Hermann. And as an example of just how long he’s been doing it at the highest level, he was the Bayer Leverkusen No.2 when they reached the 2002 UEFA Champions League final.
“Peter was a stroke of luck, a sensation. He was by far my best assistant,” said the architect of Die Werkself’s almost treble, Klaus Toppmöller, when looking back on their work together.
Although additional experience wasn’t required when assisting the likes of Heynckes or Toppmöller – whose son Dino is now on Julian Nagelsmann’s staff at Bayern – it is Hermann’s years in the business that prove so invaluable for younger coaches cutting their teeth, such as Terzic now at Dortmund.
“Edin always wants to do everything at 130 per cent. Having an experienced man in his coaching staff was Edin’s explicit wish,” said BVB CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke to Ruhrnachrichten.
Yet it isn’t just footballing expertise that makes Hermann the ideal man by your side, having also been lauded for his people skills.
“As well as embodying a sporting expert, I’ve also got to know and appreciate you as a great person with wonderful character. You know no vanity, you handle those around you with a special empathy,” said long-time companion Heynckes to kicker.
If the stats don’t say it all. It’s Hermann’s mix of experience, footballing knowledge and humanity that makes the new Dortmund coach one of – if not the – best assistants in Bundesliga history.
Musiala and Bellingham: Bayern and Dortmund's friendly rivals
Jamal Musiala and Jude Bellingham's career paths have brought them together as friends and separated them as on-field rivals for club and country.
The Bundesliga's best English players
We shine the spotlight on five of the finest English exports to have laced their boots in Germany down the years.
How will Germany line up at the World Cup?
Head coach Hansi Flick has options galore as Germany bid for glory in Qatar – but who is he likely to play?