American manager Pellegrino Matarazzo has been rewarded by Stuttgart after a strong season so far in German’s second tier.
The German 2. Bundesliga club announced Thursday that Matarazzo has been awarded a one-year contract extension. Matarazzo took over at Stuttgart in Dec. 2019, and is now under contract until June 2022.
The 42-year-old New Jersey native has posted a 5-2-4 record in 11 league matches as Stuttgart boss, his first senior managerial job. Stuttgart remain heavily in the hunt for automatic promotion back to the Bundesliga, sitting second after Thursday’s comeback 3-2 win over Hamburg.
“This contract extension had been planned for weeks now, and it is our way of demonstrating that we want to focus on consistency,” Stuttgart CEO Thomas Hitzlsperger said in a club statement. “Working together already with Pellegrino Matarazzo has made it clear to us that he has all the personal and professional skills required to be part of the club for a long time to come.”
“In the space of just a few months, Pellegrino has shown that he is a perfect fit for VfB Stuttgart. In conjunction with the current sporting management team, the coach will have a considerable impact on the future of VfB Stuttgart on the pitch.”
Matarazzo’s coaching career in Germany began in 2010, working through the ranks at Nuremberg. After serving as caretaker manager of Nuremberg II in 2011, he remained in the club’s system for six more years serving as both the Under-17 and Under-19 head coach.
A move to Hoffenheim in 2017 later saw Matarazzo promoted as an assistant coach with the Bundesliga side’s first team staff under then-manager Julian Nagelsmann. Matarazzo left in 2019 prior to taking the job at Stuttgart.
After a 10-year playing career in Germany, Matarazzo is the latest American-born manager to take over as a first team manager overseas. Jesse Marsch is currently leading Austrian Bundesliga side Red Bull Salzburg, while David Wagner, a former U.S. Men’s National Team player is in charge at Schalke despite being born in Germany.
“Working with Thomas Hitzlsperger and Sven Mislintat has been a partnership based on trust right from the very first day,” Matarazzo said. “We have a common goal and an incredible motivation to enjoy success with VfB. I would like to thank Thomas and Sven and of course the other members of management at VfB for the trust that they have shown in me. My coaching staff and I will continue to do everything in our power to achieve our goals.”
Stuttgart are second in the league table with 48 points, five points behind leaders Arminia Bielefeld for top spot. In addition, the club is two points ahead of third place Hamburg following Thursday’s victory, holding the edge for automatic promotion.
The club next travels to Dynamo Dresden on Sunday in search of a second-consecutive win.