Schalke appointed Frank Kramer as head coach on Tuesday to help ensure the team’s survival in the Bundesliga after one season in the second division.
The Gelsenkirchen-based club said Kramer has signed for two seasons and will replace Michael BUskens, who led the team to promotion as interim coach. BUskens, already a Schalke club great from his playing days, is returning to his position as an assistant coach.
“We asked ourselves what profile a new coach should have in order to play soccer successfully with Schalke. And success in our current situation means staying up in 2022-23; that’s what it’s all about,” Schalke board member Peter Knabel said in a statement.
The 50-year-old Kramer was previously coach of Arminia Bielefeld, but he was fired in April in the club’s ultimately unsuccessful bid to avoid relegation. His record was ten wins, 16 draws and 18 losses after taking over in March 2021.
Kramer previously coached Greuther Furth and Fortuna Dusseldorf, while he also worked with youth teams at the German soccer federation.
Kramer will be assisted by Buskens, Matthias Kreutzer, goalkeeping coach Simon Henzler and general player manager Gerald Asamoah.
“I can hardly wait to get to work with the team and staff,” Kramer said. “Schalke, with around 160,000 members and many millions of fans, is one of the biggest clubs in Germany.”
In Germany, Kramer, 50, has signed a two-year contract. He was last in charge at relegated Arminia Bielefeld departing in April.
“I am super happy to be here. Schalke are one of the biggest clubs in Germany. I am looking forward to the atmosphere in the Veltins-Arena. Thinking about it gives you goosebumps,” Kramer said.
He dismissed suggestions that the presence of Buskens in his staff could make the job more difficult for him.
Kramer pledged “to play football that suits Schalke. We want to play passionately and be brave. With this passion and with burning hearts, I hope that the fans will go home and think: This is our Schalke.”
The Schalke job is Kramer’s fourth in a Bundesliga dugout. He was caretaker coach at Hoffenheim for a couple of matches before getting the full-time gig at former employer Greuther Furth late in the 2012/13 campaign. After stints in charge of Fortuna Dusseldorf in Bundesliga 2, the Germany U19s, 20s and 18s, and the Red Bull Salzburg youths, the Memmingen native was installed at Bielefeld.
Kramer managed to save Arminia from the drop in 2020/21 after taking charge with 12 games remaining. His side – promoted under Uwe Neuhaus the previous season – picked up four wins and five draws to climb out of the relegation play-off spot to fourth-bottom.
Momentum stalled the next campaign, though, with Kramer relieved of his duties and Arminia subsequently relegated alongside Furth.