Cologne have appointed former St. Pauli and Basel boss Timo Schultz as their new head coach to replace Steffen Baumgart, who left the club in December.
Schultz, 46, takes over at the RheinEnergieStadion with Cologne struggling in 17th place, only above bottom side Darmstadt on goal difference after only two wins from the opening 16 games of the season.
“The coming days, weeks and months will be a big task for us to ensure we remain in the Bundesliga. We’re pleased that Timo Schultz will take charge as head coach for this task going forward,” said managing director Christian Keller.
A former midfielder with Werder Bremen, Lübeck, Holstein Kiel and St. Pauli, Schultz moved into coaching as assistant with the latter’s reserves team in 2011. He would then work under four different head coaches with the first team before taking charge of Pauli’s U17s and U19s teams over five years.
Schultz was named head coach of Die Kiezkicker’s first team for the 2020/21 season, leading the side to 10th place in Bundesliga 2 after a slow start. The momentum of the second half of the campaign continued into 2021/22 as he guided the Hamburg club to top spot at the halfway stage. However, only five wins after that saw Pauli miss out on promotion and finish fifth. With the team then lying 15th going into the 2022/23 winter break, Schultz was dismissed.
He returned to management for the 2023/24 season when appointed coach at Swiss giants Basel but was relieved by the end of September after a poor start to the campaign. The Wittmund native has now been brought in as Baumgart’s successor for his first taste of coaching in the Bundesliga and with the objective of keeping the Billy Goats up.
“I’m looking forward to a very attractive job at this great club. We’ll do a lot of intense work in the coming weeks to achieve the required results. FC belong in the Bundesliga. We’ll stay up, I 100 percent believe that,” said Schultz in the club’s official statement.
He will lead Cologne training for the first time on Thursday morning in preparation for the team’s return to competitive action with a home game against promoted Heidenheim on Saturday, 13 January. The Billy Goats then welcome Borussia Dortmund the following week.
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