First Division Football Coach Manuel Baum

“My life is all about my family and football”

Originally Manuel Baum is a teacher for physical education. But since December 2016 he is doing what many dream of: as the head coach of a first division football team he is bringing in success every weekend.

Football has always played an important role in Manuel Baum’s life. His professional career started in Dingolfing in Lower Bavaria as a goalkeeper, at the age of 15 he joined TSV 1860. He lived in Munich alone, staying with a host family and additionally attended high school at the same time. At the age of 18 he already received the first offer to work as a special coach for goalkeeping. Back then nobody had any idea that he would later make a huge career as a first division coach.

Love for football

After finishing school his thirst for knowledge led him to TUM: “For me, the question of why has always been an important one during training. I mean not just consuming contents but to understand why I had to do a run or power training.” He completed a double degree in Sports Science with an emphasis on Economics and Management & Sports on one side, and on the other Sports & Economics for teaching at Realschule. Here Manuel Baum also met his later wife. In addition to studying he continued to play – back then in the fourth-highest league in Bavaria – and furthermore coached the trainees at 1860 München. “That was a pretty tight schedule“, Manuel Baum says today.

I am happy to share a little of what I was able to experience.

Having completed his studies and the subsequent in-service teaching training Manuel Baum took up employment at a Realschule in Taufkirchen. Not any kind of Realschule but an elite school of the German Football Federation (DFB), in which pupils regularly attend their club’s trainings and are being taught in theory of training, sports biology and kinetics. “These pupils need to be addressed in a particular way”, Manuel Baum knows. “You need to communicate to them that, despite their dream of becoming pro football players, they need a proper education, as well.”

Next to his teaching job Manuel Baum continued to coach the third-league team in Unterhaching, and later became the head coach of the youth training centre in Augsburg. In December 2016 he received the crucial call. Since then Manuel Baum is very successfully coaching the FC Augsburg’s professional team. Initially the top candidate for relegation at the beginning of this season, the team delivered the best start of the season the club has ever had.

Permanent post as a civil servant or coaching position

Currently Manuel Baum is on leave from his teaching position in order to pursue his coaching job. But in the long term that is not a solution. “The most difficult impending decision is going to be whether I should give up my lifetime position as a civil servant in oder to coach full-time. That is really difficult, especially if you have a family”, says Manuel Baum, who has two small kids with his wife. Despite his many commitments, he frequently takes the time to let others benefit from his experience: “I try to give back a little of what I was able to experience, for example to provide insights into the professional world in a small presentation. But right now my life is all about my family and football.”