A sleeping giant may have been woken up in the world of German basketball as football superpowers Bayern Munich have brought on German national team coach Dirk Bauermann to coach their basketball team with hopes of becoming a European level club within three to five years.

“It’s very exciting to be part of this kind of project. And the vision is of becoming a European level club in the time frame from three to five years,” Bauermann told heinnews’s David Hein.

The 52-year-old coach said the four-time European football club champions Munich “have brought me in for the long haul”.

“We are happy to welcome to the FC Bayern Munich family the most successful German basketball coach,” Bayern vice president Bernd Rauch told the club’s website after months of talks with Bauermann.

In a survey of the 23,000 Bayern club members, more than 75 percent approved the decision to bring in Bauermann as coach.

Officially, Bauermann agreed to only a one-year contract for the 2010-11 season with the second division ProA side.

And the coach said both sides will use that time to evaluate the other side.

“It will give me time to see if they are willing to invest the resources needed to take the steps needed to reach the lofty goals we have,” Bauermann told heinnews.

“And at the same time they want to see if the investment they make this year is worth it.”

A major unresolved issue is Bauermann’s unrelenting commitment to coaching the German national team. The German Basketball Federation (DBB) prohibits their national team coaches from coaching first division clubs – a problem should Bayern get promoted next season as Bauermann and the club hope.

“The DBB issue is not yet solved, but we decided that we will cross that bridge when we come to it,” Bauermann told heinnews.

DBB president Ingo Weiss told the federation’s website that the move is a positive for basketball in the nation.

“Bauermann has proved that he is a good coach and great guy. He has given the German national team success and will continue to do so. German basketball can only profit from Bauermann coaching in Munich,” said Weiss.

It was clear to the coach as well how big a deal it would be for German hoops to get a huge name like FC Bayern into the sport.

“This move almost has historic dimensions. It’s unbelievable for German basketball to have a club like Bayern. And it was almost too big of a deal to pass it up for German basketball,” he told heinnews.

But there has been no comment from the DBB about Bauermann’s status for 2011-12 should Bayern win promotion to the BBL top flight.

Bauermann is definitely a huge addition to Bayern, whose German basketball titles date back to league crowns in 1947, 1949, 1954 and 1955 and the 1968 German Cup.

Bauermann is a four-time German Coach of the Year who won seven league titles and four German Cups with Bayer Leverkusen between 1989 and 1998 before capturing the 2005 and 2007 league titles during his time with Bamberg from 2001 to 2008.

He took over the coaching reigns of the national team in 2003. But after the 2008 season, the DBB changed their regulations regarding coaching both national teams and club teams. And Bauermann decided in favor of Germany.

After two years away from the everyday club scene, Bauermann has said his batteries are re-loaded and ready for a club team.

And the coach knows promotion to the BBL will not be easy – though he expects the support to be there.

“We will have a bull’s eye. The fans will be fired up. Everyone will want to play their best game against us. And the road games will probably be sold out,” he said.

“But we still have a lot of hard work to do to put a team together to achieve the goals we have.”

Bauermann’s focus right now will be on the German national team, which will be playing at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey later this fall. And then he will turn his attention to Bayern and the ProA.

One of the other sticking points in the Bauermann talks were where Bayern would play their games this season, moving into the Munich Olympiapark facility on the old 1972 Olympics grounds.



1 Comment

  1. Felix says:

    Very well summed up. Let’s see if big action can follow big talking. Yet it was not the DBB forbidding coaches to work in the league but the league forbidding their coaches to work for the federation simultaneously:


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