Head Coach Jordan Neuman, DC Johannes Brenner & player/coach Cody Pastorino leave the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns

By Axel Streich

Long-time Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns coaches Jordan Neuman and Johannes Brenner as well as youth coach and veteran player Cody Pastorino are leaving the German champions. All three intend to accept an offer from the European League of Football (ELF).

Head coach Jordan Neuman, defensive coordinator Johannes Brenner and coach and long-time player, Cody Pastorino, had already notified the Unicorns board in mid-September of their intentions.

Unicorns Deputy Chairman David Seiffer:

“After the many discussions that we have had throughout the season, just like in every other GFL club on the subject of ELF, we were admittedly surprised by this news. Many more conversations followed, at the end of which the three trainers decided to leave Schwäbisch Hall. They are switching from competition in organized club sports to the European League of Football, which has been active in Europe for two years and in which no clubs can participate.”

Unicorns chairwoman Nina Wengertsmann:

“We are disappointed and very much regret the decision of the thre. The Unicorns have had a lot of success with Jordan, Jonny and Cody and we would have loved to do the same with them in the future. We personally wish them the best of luck for their future tasks and that they find what they seem to be lacking in the GFL.”

Sporting Director Siegfried Gehrke:

“This is undoubtedly a turning point because we now have to fill the very successful top team of our more than 50-strong coaching team. This is not an easy and certainly not a very quick process. The field of qualified football coaches who fit into our structure and our philosophy is not that large. We will take the time we need for this and try to seize the opportunities that such a change always brings with it, despite all the difficulties.”

This also applies to the Unicorns Academy, where Neuman and Pastorino are currently coaches. David Seiffer:

“Of course, we hope that the GFL player squad will remain largely intact, even if some players want to follow their coaches. But the successful Unicorns program has a very stable basis and will continue to offer ambitious athletes very good prospects.”

A native of Texas, Neuman coached the Unicorns for a total of nine years after completing his playing career. First in 2009 and 2010 as offensive coordinator, before moving to Vienna for three years with the Vikings in Austria. In 2013, he returned to the Unicorns, first again as head of the Unicorns offense and from the 2017 season as head coach. Under his aegis, the Unicorns won 75 competitive games in the GFL and were only beaten twice, namely in the German Bowls in 2019 and 2021. In addition to three German championships, the team with Neuman as head coach also won the title twice in the European competition of the CEFL. He also played a leading role in setting up the Unicorns Academy at the evangelical school center in Michelbach, which has 48 students this school year.

Johannes “Jonny” Brenner was always at Neuman’s side as defense coordinator. Born in the area, he is a “homegrown” Unicorn. He began coaching the Unicorns Flaggies in 2001, parallel to an extremely successful playing career with two national titles and two European Championship titles with the German national team. In 2006, he took over the position of head coach of the U19s and led them to nine southern German championships in eleven years and to the German youth championship title in 2016. With the entry of Jordan Neuman as head coach of the GFL team in autumn 2016, Brenner also switched to the GFL team.

The ItalianAmerican Cody Pastorino joined the Unicorns as a player in 2014 and has been part of the first guard of the Unicorns GFL team ever since. The Italian national player has also been involved more and more in coaching in recent years, on the one hand as head coach of the Hall U16 and as a trainer at the Unicorns Academy, but on the other hand as an assistant in the background with the active team. Last Sunday, Cody Pastorino announced the end of his playing career via Facebook. Its also worth nothing Pastorino’s teammate Simon Butch also recently stepped away from the Unicorns, leaving the reigning champs without two key defenders.

American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!