22 Feb. 2023
The most decorated Switzerland player in history, André Schmid, will take over as the head coach of the Switzerland men's national team, with his term beginning in the summer of 2024.
Schmid, who was named the Bundesliga Player of the Season five consecutive times between 2014 and 2018, winning the German league twice, in 2016 and 2017, and the Men's EHF Cup, in 2013, all with Rhein-Neckar Löwen, will make his first steps into the coaching career, signing a contract up to and including the EHF EURO 2028, which will take place in Switzerland, Spain and Portugal.
"It's a great honour to be the coach of Switzerland. Like as a player, I will set myself the highest goals as a coach. And to achieve those goals, I will act with the same passion and dedication as if I were still a player," said Schmid, according to the official website of the Swiss Handball Federation (SHV).
With 1035 goals scored in 206 matches for the Switzerland national team, Schmid is the second-best scorer in history, needing only 59 goals to leapfrog Marc Baumgartner. The 39-year-old centre back debuted for the national team in 2003 and featured only once at the IHF Men's World Championship, at Egypt 2021, and twice at the EHF EURO, in 2004 and 2020.
Schmid will replace Michael Suter, who has been leading Switzerland since 2016 and was the team's coach at the EHF EURO 2020 and the 2021 IHF Men's World Championship.
"Andy and I have a very good relationship and have been able to celebrate good success for the Switzerland national team. We are doing everything we can to make the current EHF EURO campaign successful and to qualify for the EHF EURO 2024. There is a lot to do in Swiss handball, and after many years at the front, I can well imagine helping out in the future," said Suter.
Schmid will continue to feature for the Switzerland team as a player until the EHF EURO 2024. Currently, Switzerland are in second place in Group 6 of the EHF EURO 2024 Qualifiers, boasting a four-point tally in a group featuring Hungary, Lithuania and Georgia.
If Switzerland qualify, Schmid plans to retire from the national team after the EHF EURO 2024, preparing for his coaching career. The 39-year-old centre back, who will turn 40 in August, is featuring at club level for Swiss club HC Kriens-Luzern after spending the last 12 seasons at Rhein-Neckar Löwen.
Schmid will also take up at the SVF, working closely with the operational management and the strategic body "Central Board" and maintaining an intensive exchange with the clubs and youth departments.
"Our society today demands more than results on the court. In addition to performance on the court, a successful national team inspires with active and outward-looking communication and the view of the whole in the community. In these areas, too, we will provide positive surprises in the future," concluded Schmid.