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Sascha Lewandowski, Former Bayer Leverkusen Manager, Dies at Age 44

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2016

LEIPZIG, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 19:  Head coach Sascha Lewandowski of Union Berlin looks on prior to the Second Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and 1. FC Union Berlin at Red Bull Arena on February 19, 2016 in Leipzig, Germany.  (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images)
Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Former Bayer Leverkusen and Union Berlin manager Sascha Lewandowski has died at age 44.

News of the coach’s death came via a statement on the Union Berlin website (h/t DW Sports). “We are deeply shocked and incredibly sad,” it read. “We send our most sincere condolences and our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Sascha Lewandowski.”

Per Tom Adams of Eurosport, Lewandowski’s body was discovered at his home in Bochum, with the cause of death said to still be “unclear.”

Various Bundesliga clubs, including Werder Bremen and FC Schalke 04, have paid tribute to the coach on social media:

SV Werder Bremen EN @werderbremen_en

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Sascha #Lewandowski, who has sadly passed away. https://t.co/f1ft8LwXci

FC Schalke 04 @s04_en

S04 are mourning the loss of Sascha #Lewandowski, an endearing human being, who gave football so much. Our thoughts are with his loved ones.

The coach had two separate spells as the manager of Leverkusen, taking over alongside Sami Hyypia in 2012 before reverting to work with the youth setup, a role he had occupied for five years from 2007.

When Hyypia was dismissed in April 2014, Dortmund-born Lewandowski stepped in to become interim manager at the Bay Arena before Roger Schmidt took over ahead of the 2014-15 campaign.

As these numbers from OptaFranz illustrate, during his time as a manager in the top flight, Lewandowski fared quite well:

OptaFranz @OptaFranz

2.04 - Only Pep Guardiola won more points/BL match than Sascha Lewandowski (2.04). Sorrow. https://t.co/0lDG5qN1jb

He embarked on a new challenge in September 2015, taking over at second-tier Union Berlin before walking away from the position after just six months due to burnout, per DW Sports.

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