MRSame and withdrawn, Werner Schuster was sitting on the edge of the Olympic skisport in Sochi. He looked at the night sky, then into the celebrated German quartet at the medal award ceremony and enjoyed the silence. With tears in his eyes. All the tough years, all the patience, all the failures – at that moment he knew: everything had its purpose, the efforts paid off. "We were together, I'm incredibly proud of this team and I'm deeply satisfied," he said after his team's Olympic victory.
It was February 17, 2014 and the first big triumph of German jumps after a long time. It was the day Werner Schuster had been a national coach since 2008. Now, eleven years later, the Austrians have announced that his end of the season will not be extended. The hottest candidate for his successor is his compatriot Stefan Horngacher, currently Poland's coach.
"The eleven years ago was an incredibly intense time," Schuster said Thursday. "It is time to surrender to an intact team," he argued, "it is a great effort to go, perhaps the German Ski Association (DSV), but in a different function.
The 49-year-old from Kleinwalsertal goes to the man who has been brought to bring German skiers back from the average back to the road to success. When Schuster started, the former nation for ski jumps fell, no DSV athlete was among the top 15 in the overall World Cup. Before him was a mammoth task. One was interested in long-term planning and sustainability.
That's why he and his sports director Horst Hüttel structurally turned a lot back, bringing the German eels back flying step by step. Not only very talented individuals, but above all different types.
Schuster's balance between work and family
Schuster's soundtracks sound impressive. As a coach, he helped the Germans win the Olympic gold medal in 2014 and Silver 2018, they celebrated Olympic gold with Andreas Wellinger and the silver in 2018, with gold in Severina Freunda 2015 and the overall victory of the World Cup in the same winter. There are also the World Championships in mixed, as well as other World Cup medals and some successes in the World Cup. At the end there is only one missing: winning at the prestigious Four Hills tournament.
His decision to stop as a national menu is not surprising. Immediately before this year's tour, the Austrians suggested he would probably go the second time after eleven years. "My children are twelve and fifteen, and twelve year-olds include TV and says my daddy's in the winter on TV." Nothing else knows, they are charged, Schuster said.
His family left for years, and his further engagement in Germany lasted for at least 2021 at the World Cup in Oberstdorf, if not up to the Olympic Winter Games 2022 in Beijing. The question is: how much energy is left to me? How can you develop athletes? "Schuster said before the tour.
He is not a man for a one-year contract. As long as you develop athletes like Geiger and Leyhe, you see: Things are happening. At the same time I advocate for seriousness, for long-term projects it will not help the team if I extend for a year.
Schuster's future is still uncertain
As Schuster continues, he has not yet decided. He now has three options, he said, and this includes further collaboration with DSV. "There's something growing there. That's an interesting option, he said.
One can imagine returning to Skigymnasium Stams. That would bring him home, back to his family. And finally, the Austrian association did not hide interest in the 49-year-old. "Werner has been successful everywhere, he is a person with authority. If we do not want to have it, something would certainly be wrong," said Mario Stecher, sports director of Nordic Sports in the Austrian Ski Association (ÖSV).
A complete break is also possible. "I am a professional trainer for 21 years," Schuster said on Thursday. "Pause would come to me."
As a new national coach, Stefan Horngacher is trading for weeks. The Austrian knows DSV from the time he was Schuster's assistant from 2011 to 2016, and his contract in Poland expires in the spring. The candidate could also be a former world skiing champion Roar Ljökelsöy from Norway, who already belongs to DSV staff. Or a Swiss coach and former jumper of the German team Ronny Hornschuh. Former world champion Martin Schmitt, who now has a coaching diploma, has repeatedly been raised to him. However, Schmitt recently said he was not available at the time.