PUMA Stenzel Coach


For PUMA purists the Stenzel Coach is a silhouette to covet, though many modern-day Clyde, Suede, and States lovers may not even know who Vlado is or how he endorsed a variety of models.

Beyond the Handball-Spurt we recently wrote up – and various other models that we’ve yet to discover but that we know exist (such as the often lighter colored Stenzel Universal spotted in a 1982 catalog, and the brightly colored Stenzel Firebirds and Vlado Stenzel Handball Goals, both red of course) – it seems that the famous handball player, Vlado Stenzel, was quite busy in the ’70s and ’80s, endorsing various PUMA silhouettes such as the so-called PUMA Stenzel Coach pictured here.

Better known as ‘Der Magier’ (or ‘The Magician’, in English), the Yugoslavian handball athlete was a goalkeeper in his youth and a coach by his adulthood. With a presence at both the Olympics (1972) and the World Championships (1978) it’s no wonder why PUMA shimmied up next to Stenzel for a sponsorship deal endorsing their sportswear.

Both being constructed in West Germany, the timetable for these Stenzel Coaches and the Handball-Spurt’s mentioned above is certainly historic. Their builds and shape are almost identical except for the obvious shift in material, a rough suede being chosen on these Coaches which aligns more with the Stenzel Fire Birds and Goals we’re still actively hunting down. Even the sole units are nearly the same, only the Spurt version showing off a waffle cup grip that surely provided a bit more pivoting power. And while the tongue branding and lateral side logos were the same, the heel’s FOT spot doesn’t get the same treatment, showing off a leaping PUMA cat in these while the Spurt’s are lacking such iconography.

Rare as hell and lush as can be, the Stenzel Coach is certainly a gem from PUMA’s past archive. As our friend Will Clayton would say, with such a great amount of gorgeous ancestors to choose from, what makes PUMA so tough stuck on re-releasing the Clyde and Suede and States?

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol