Bochum promotes youth coach in bid to avoid relegation from Bundesliga

Bochum's scorer Philipp Hofmann and his teammates celebrate their side's second goal during the Bundesliga soccer match between VfL Bochum and SV Darmstadt 98 in Bochum, Germany, Sunday, March 31, 2024. (David Inderlied/dpa via AP)

BOCHUM, Germany — Bundesliga relegation candidate Bochum thrust youth coach Heiko Butscher into the spotlight Tuesday, promoting him to interim head coach with the task of surviving in the German top flight.

Butscher takes over for the final six games of the season. The announcement came a day after Bochum fired Thomas Letsch following a poor run.

Bochum is 15th in the 18-team league and had seemed on course for safety when it stunned Bayern Munich 3-2 in February.

However, the team earned only one point in its last six games and lost 2-1 on Saturday to fellow struggler Cologne on two late goals in Letsch’s last game.

Butscher, who was leading the under-19 team, is a longtime assistant and youth coach at Bochum who previously filled in as an interim head coach for one game in 2018 and another in 2022.

Bochum hosts Heidenheim on Saturday.

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