Tigers coach Jung Jae-hoon Lee Dong-gul takes over Kia’s first-team pitching staff with no Tigers ties.
‘We will prepare in a new atmosphere’.
The Kia Tigers, who were eliminated in the top five, have made changes to their first-team pitching coaching staff. They did not re-sign main coach Seo Jae-ng (46) and bullpen coach Kwak Jung-chul (37). Instead, they hired Doosan Bears’ Jung Jae-hoon (43) and Hanwha Eagles’ Lee Dong-gul (40).
Jung has been a Doosan player and coach for 20 years, including a one-year stint with Lotte. In particular, he served as Doosan’s closer and recorded 139 saves. 스포츠토토
When Lee Seung-yeop took over, he started out as the main coach of the first team, but was dropped to the second team during the season to shake things up. This time, he was asked by KIA to coach the team for the first time.
Lee has played for Samsung and Hanwha, and worked as a bullpen coach since 2021 after working as a power analyst for Hanwha. Unlike Seo Jae-ng and Kwak Jeong-chul, both former Tigermen, Jung Jae-hoon and Lee Dong-gul had no previous ties to the KIA.
Speaking about the reasons for hiring the two pitching coaches, Shim Jae-hak said, “They know the latest baseball trends and study hard. Whenever there is a seminar with foreign coaches, they are always willing to attend and learn, and their presentations are good. They are also good at utilizing data. I decided to hire him after discussing with the coach.”
Jong-guk Kim said, “I had a relationship with Coach Jung when I played for the national team (2006 WBC). With the change in coaching staff, the pitchers will prepare for next year in a new atmosphere. Coach Lee Dong-gul will also be able to guide the young pitchers well.”
Outgoing coach Seo Jae-heng won 28 games in the major leagues and was a starter for KIA. After retiring in 2015, he worked as a broadcast commentator before returning to KIA as a coach in 2018. He served as the bullpen coach, main coach, and reserve coach. During this season, he returned to the first team as the main coach to guide the pitchers.
Kwak was known for his fastball during his playing days and played a key role in the 2009 championship. However, his career was hampered by injury issues. He retired after the 2018 season and began his coaching career as a secondary pitching coach and has been leading the pitchers as a bullpen coach since 2021. He is sincere and principled, and has been a reliable big brother to the pitchers.
“Both coaches have done a good job, but the team needs a change,” Shim said, apologizing for the situation.