GFL Bowl 2023: Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns HC Christian Rothe’s path to the GFL Bowl

Since taking over the head coaching role of the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns at the start of the season, Christian Rothe has done the unthinkable.

The departure of Jordan Neuman to the Stuttgart Surge of the European League of Football also saw almost half of the Unicorns’ roster go with him. Despite this, Rothe has led his team right back to the GFL Bowl where they will look to defend their championship.

Although his head coaching role is very much new, Rothe has been involved in the Unicorns organization since his youth. He began first as a player before moving into various coaching spots within the team.

Rothe played offensive line for the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns youth team for just one year before joining the men’s team. In 2011 and 2012, they won the German championship by defeating the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes in both finals.

From 2014 to 2016, he reached the German Bowl three more times with Schwäbisch Hall but lost each time to the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions.

In 2014, he also won the European Championship with the German national team. In 2017 and 2018 Rothe became a champion again with Schwäbisch Hall.

In October 2018, he retired after a 20-year career and the club retired his number 61 jersey.

As a coach, Rothe took on the role of coaching the offensive line for the Schwäbisch Hall team. In 2020, when the German national team underwent reorganization, he was chosen to be part of the national team’s coaching staff, along with Schwäbisch Hall’s former head coach Jordan Neuman.

Rothe’s debut season opened up dismally as the team suffered its first regular season loss since 2015, falling 44-30 to the Potsdam Royals in a rematch of the 2022 German Football League Championship game.

Following this, the Unicorns would go on to take more tough losses; one came in the Central European Football League final against the Thonon Black Panthers from France who defeated the Unicorns 42-14, followed by a 35-17 regular season loss to the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions.

Despite having three losses in the space of four weeks, Rothe and the Unicorns managed to flip their season on its head, winning eight straight games before taking their third and final loss of the GFL season in the final game of the season in a shootout against the Saarland Hurricanes.

Rothe will look to put another trophy on his cabinet this weekend as he leads the Unicorns to battle against the Potsdam Royals, in what Schwäbisch Hall fans will hope to be a repeat of last year.

A current student at Bournemouth University as well as a quarterback with eight years of playing experience. Brad's goal is to be a part of the growth of the game around the world through journalism and media.