Apparently, I wasn’t the only one pretty surprised that Lemgo couldn’t even win one match at their Champions League qualification group tournament in Leon, Spain last weekend. In a swift reaction, by handball standards anyway, they fired their coach Markus Baur and their sports director, Daniel Stephan. Co-favorites to win the tournament with host Leon, Lemgo lost close matches to Kadetten Schaufhaussen of Switzerland and Celje of Slovenia before being drubbed by Leon 31-21 in the final match.
What makes the quick firings even more surprising are the long relationships Baur and Stepan had with Lemgo. Baur had played for the club from 2001-2008, was one of the more popular players on the national team and had returned to coach Lemgo after a 6 month stint coaching in Switzerland. Stephan had been with the club since 1994 and was the Handball world player of the year in 98. According to Handball-World, it wasn’t just the performance in Spain that led to their dismissal as the club had performed poorly in a number of preseason events.
EHF: Lemgo fires Baur: http://www.ehfcl.com/men/2009-10/article/12573/Lemgo+fires+Baur
Handball-World: Lemgo: "Prolonged drought sporting" costs and Stephan Baur their jobs: http://www.handball-world.com/o.red.c/news.php?GID=1&auswahl=21908
Wikipedia: Daniel Stephan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Stephan
Wikipedia: Markus Baur: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markus_Baur