Sebastian Hoeneß led the Bayern Munich reserves to the 2019/20 3. Liga title. - © imago
Sebastian Hoeneß led the Bayern Munich reserves to the 2019/20 3. Liga title. - © imago

Sebastian Hoeneß: Who is the young German coach who led Bayern Munich reserves to the Third Division title?


With success written into his DNA, it’s no wonder new Hoffenheim coach Sebastian Hoeneß made such a historic debut-season splash in charge of the Bayern Munich reserves. has the career skinny on Germany’s next top tactician…

Sebastian Hoeneß
Age: 38
Club: Hoffenheim
Role: Head coach
Country of birth: Germany

Key stats

A player first, and coach later, Hoeneß started out in the youth ranks of Bavarian club TSV Ottobrunn. The Munich native later lined up in the various VfB Stuttgart youth teams, before spending 11 years with the Hertha Berlin reserves, via a one-season stint at Hoffenheim. An attacking midfielder in his pomp, he produced seven goals and 20 assists across his 174 professional appearances, playing against Bayern II in Germany’s fourth tier in 2006/07.

Within a year of hanging up his playing boots, Hoeneß stepped into the dug-out with capital club Hertha Zehlendorf’s U19s. He averaged 1.08 points per game over his 26 matches in charge - a mean return that mushroomed to 2.27 whilst at the helm of the RB Leipzig U17s in 2016/17. Bayern made the move that summer, initially charging him with overseeing the youth and U19 teams. He took over the newly promoted reserves in time for 2019/20, steering the club from 15th at Christmas to 3. Liga champions on the final day, thanks to an eye-catching haul of 43 points from a possible 57 during the second half of the campaign.

Hoeness lifted Bayern II from within two points of the relegation zone in January to champions by a single point in July. - imago

The brains behind the first reserve team in history to win Germanys's Third Division, Hoeness was recognised as the 3. Liga Coach of the Season, claiming 64 percent of the vote ahead of Würzburger Kickers counterpart Michael Schiele. But for league rules which stipulate a club can only have one representative across Germany’s top two divisions, he’d have Bundesliga 2 football to look forward to in 2020/21.

His achievement did not go unnoticed, however, and he was able to leapfrog Bundesliga 2 entirely to land in the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim.

Coaches a bit like: Hansi Flick

An exponent of a 4-2-3-1 formation, Hoeneß strikes the necessary balance between defensive stability and expansive attacking football. His decision to invest in youngsters such as American Chris Richards and teenager Angelo Stiller over some of his more experienced squad members speaks to his in-built talent radar, while game-changing switches such as the Matchday 23 introduction of New Zealand international Sarpreet Singh - who scored twice from the bench in a 4-2 win over relegation-fighting Viktoria Cologne - underscore his super-savvy reputation. Throw in a German passport and you may believe you are staring Hansi Flick in the face.

Bayern II's USA youth international Chris Richards (r.) enjoyed a breakout season under Hoeneß (l.). - imago

Did you know?

Sebastian is the son of former Aalen, Stuttgart, Bayern and Germany striker, Dieter Hoeneß. As for uncle Uli, he played in the great Bayern team of the 1970s and won the 1972 UEFA European Football Championship and 1974 FIFA World Cup with Germany, before enjoying an acclaimed tenure as Bayern general manager and president.

What they’re saying

"This development is sensational. Coach Sebastian Hoeneß and his team deserve the greatest respect for the fact that we won the third tier. More and more talent is knocking on the first team's door, our academy work is increasingly becoming a great source of young talent" - Bayern chairman Herbert Hainer.

"What Sebastian Hoeneß and his team achieved is fantastic" - Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on the reserve team's table-topping efforts.

"We're impressed by his work and his view of football fits perfectly with the philosophy and strategy of TSG" - Hoffenheim sporting director Alexander Rosen