Hoffenheim have hired Marco Kurz as their new head coach as they bid to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga, the club has confirmed.
The former Kaiserslautern and 1860 Munich boss takes over at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena from caretaker boss Frank Kramer, who has been in charge since the sacking of Markus Babbel at the start of December.
Kramer oversaw the club's two latest defeats away to Hamburg and at home to Borussia Dortmund. After losing six straight games Hoffenheim has dropped down to 16th in the Bundesliga table, seven points behind 15th-placed Wolfsburg.
Hoffenheim, who won promotion in 2008, started the season with Babbel targeting a place in the Europa League but will go into the winter break in the relegation zone. Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Dortmund was their sixth consecutive defeat.
Kurz has agreed a deal which runs until June 2014, with kicker reporting the contract to be perfrmance-based. Gunther Gorenzel comes in as Kurz's assistant.
The 43-year old started his coaching career with minor league team SC Pfullendorf before taking charge of 1860 Munich and Kaiserslautern. In his first season he won promotion to the top flight with Kaiserlautern and took the club up to seventh place, but last season the club's fortunes nosedived.
When Kurz was sacked on March 20 Kaiserslautern were bottom of the league and had not won in 16 league games. Kaiserlautern finished the season on bottom of the league, after new boss Krasimir Balakov failed to save them from relegation.