Kim Sang-sik to take the helm as head coach of Jeonbuk Hyundai MotorsHaving spent over a decade as a player and an assistant coach with the team, Kim Sang-sik will now be the head coach of Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
The four-time reigning K League 1 champions announced Tuesday that Kim has been promoted to become their new bench boss and replace Jose Morais. The length and financial terms of Kim's deal weren't disclosed.
Jeonbuk and Morais parted ways earlier this month after the Portuguese tactician's two seasons in Korea. Jeonbuk won K League 1 titles in both of Morais' seasons, extending their record title run to four straight, and also won the Korean FA Cup this year. Kim, 44, was Morais' top assistant.
The former midfielder spent the final five seasons of his 15-year career with Jeonbuk, from 2009 to 2013. Following his retirement, Kim remained with Jeonbuk as an assistant coach in 2014. He is now the first former Jeonbuk player to take the club's reins as head coach.
Once Morais' departure at season's end became a foregone conclusion, Kim quickly emerged as the strongest candidate. Kim captained Jeonbuk to their first championship in 2009 and then built a reputation as a players' coach thanks to his soft leadership skills.
"Given his strong leadership and tactical acumen, Kim Sang-sik was the perfect fit as our head coach," Jeonbuk said in a statement. "With his deep understanding of the team, Kim can embody our philosophy better than anyone."
Kim will take over a team that has won the past four league titles but has also lost some key pieces along the way, either to foreign clubs or retirement.
"I won't rest on the laurels of this year, and I'll dedicate myself to making us an even better club," Kim said. "I have faith in my players."
Jeonbuk will open offseason training camp on Jan. 11 in Namhae, South Gyeongsang.
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