Dieter Hecking has been appointed as the new head coach at Borussia Mönchengladbach. The 52-year-old signed for the club on Wednesday evening in a deal that lasts until 2019.
“We wanted to add fresh impetus after the developments of recent weeks with a new coach. Dieter Hecking is exactly the right man for that. He is a coach with a lot of experience, who has had a lot of success at different levels with different clubs,” said Borussia’s sporting director Max Eberl. “We have a second half of the season with difficult but also exciting tasks in the Bundesliga, DFB Cup and the Europa League ahead of us. We are looking forward to tackling these challenges with Dieter Hecking.”
First professional contract came at Borussia
Hecking began his playing career at Westfalia Soest. His next stops were Soester SV, Borussia Lippstadt and 1. FC Paderborn. Dieter Hecking signed his first professional contract in 1983 with Borussia at the age of just 19. However the attacking midfielder only made six appearances in the next two years. Hecking subsequently moved to 2. Bundesliga side Hessen Kassel. He made 101 second-division appearances for Hessen and even stayed loyal to the club when they were relegated to the Oberliga. He was their top goalscorer in 1989 and helped fire his team to promotion. Hecking became a key player and took on the captain’s armband. However Kassel were relegated just one year later and Hecking moved to relegated Bundesliga side Waldhof Mannheim. He missed out on promotion with the club two years on the trot in 1991 and 1992.
Hecking successfully made the jump to the Bundesliga for the first time in 1993 with VfB Leipzig. However he and his team were relegated once again just one season later. Hecking then moved to Regionalliga side TuS Paderborn-Neuhaus in 1994. Hannover 96 secured Hecking’s services for the 1996/97 season but they too suffered relegation at the second attempt of asking. The then 33-year-old struggled to get game time and moved to Regionalliga side Eintracht Braunschweig in 1999, where ended his playing career. He finished with 36 Bundesliga appearances, 203 in the 2. Bundesliga (38 goals), 141 Regionalliga appearances (46 goals) and 61 Oberliga matches (39 goals).
Promotion with Lübeck and Aachen
Dieter Hecking took on his first coaching position on 1st July 2000 at second-division side SV Verl. However he left the club during the winter break and was given the head coach’s job at VfB Lübeck in March 2001. He led the side from Schleswig-Holstein to safety in the second division one and a half years later. The outsiders even reached the semi-finals of the DFB Cup in the 2003/04 season. After Lübeck were relegated in 2004, Hecking tendered his resignation and moved to Alemannia Aachen shortly afterwards. He took the Black and Yellows into the Bundesliga in 2006 but the “Father of success” announced after the third match of the Bundesliga season that he had taken up an offer at Hannover 96 for personal reasons. Hecking dragged the club out of the relegation zone and the club were even in the European places at times. They eventually finished 11th in the table. Hecking left the club at the end of the 2009 season after 101 games in charge.
Coach of the year after victory in DFL Supercup and DFB Cup
He took over the role of head coach at 1. FC Nürnberg just one year later and rescued the club from relegation. Hecking brought in many young and diverse players on loan in the period that followed and led the team to a sixth-placed finish in the 2010/11 season. Hecking extended his contract with the club in the middle of 2012 but activated his exit clause just a few months later and moved to VfL Wolfsburg on 28th December 2012. Hecking lifted the Wolves from 15th place to 10th in his first season in charge and secured the club Europa League qualification in the following season with a fifth-placed finish. He celebrated his first major honours as a coach one year later, when he won the DFB Cup and the DFL Supercup with the Wolves, and also finished second in the Bundesliga. Hecking was chosen by journalists from “Kicker” as the Coach of the Year not long afterwards. VfL sensationally made it through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League in the following season. However, they were not able to reach the European qualification places as they went on to finish eighth. The Wolves started this season poorly and the club parted company with Hecking on 17th October.