Julian Nagelsmann has become the youngest head coach in Bundesliga history after beginning his tenure at Hoffenheim earlier than planned.
The 28-year-old agreed a three-year contract last October to take the reins from the start of the 2016-17 campaign, with veteran Dutch coach Huub Stevens installed on a short-term deal at the same time
But Stevens resigned on Wednesday due to a heart condition, meaning Nagelsmann will be in charge for the crunch relegation clash against Werder Bremen on Sunday.
Hoffenheim lie second bottom of the Bundesliga having won only two matches all season. They are seven points from outright safety and five behind Werder, who currently languish 16th in the relegation play-off spot.
"I am aware of the task ahead - a huge challenge. I don't fear it though," Nagelsmann said. "I'm looking forward to working with the team and being able to add a new stimulus with my approach."
Nagelsmann, who played for 1860 Munich and Augsburg at youth level before knee injuries ended his career, led Hoffenheim to the final of the German A-Youth Championship in each of the past two years, lifting the crown in 2014.
He was also assistant first-team coach at Hoffenheim for the second half of the 2012-13 season.
Stevens won only one of his 10 matches in charge at the club.