Schaaf, who had been in charge of the Bundesliga side on the Weser for the last 14 years, bid farewell to the players and his fellow coaches on Wednesday morning. As per his own wishes, the 52-year-old will therefore not sit on the bench in Bremen’s final game of the current campaign against 1. FC Nuremberg. Instead, assistant coaches Wolfgang Rolff and Matthias Hönerbach will assume control of first-team duties during the final two weeks of the season.
“As announced, we’ve analysed our sporting development over the past few days and have come to the conclusion that we’re looking for a fresh start,” explained sporting director Thomas Eichin, who was also speaking on behalf of fellow executive directors Klaus Filbry and Klaus-Dieter Fischer.
“We thank Thomas for all that he has brought to the club in more than 40 years as player and head coach of Werder Bremen. With him at the helm, the club has been able to celebrate some outstanding sporting achievements. However, after staving off the threat of relegation we reached the common belief that an amicable separation would be best for the club’s new beginnings.”
Schaaf: "An extraordinary time"
Born in Mannheim, Schaaf has been a member of the Green-Whites since 1972 and was the longest-serving head coach still active in the Bundesliga having taken charge in 1999. The crowning moment of his tenure, which spanned 644 games in all competitions, came when he guided Werder Bremen to the league and cup double in 2004, turning the side into regular competitors on the European stage.
“I’ve had an extraordinary time here and was involved in several positive experiences and great successes,” said Schaaf, who also won the DFB Cup in 1999 and 2009. “I want to say thank you to all those who have accompanied and supported me on this journey. I wish Werder Bremen all the success in the future.”