KIA Tigers, whose head coach was disgraced, faced an unprecedented situation in which they had to appoint a new coach during the spring camp. The key is to select candidates as soon as possible and find the right person to take the baton to stabilize the team’s atmosphere.
Kia announced the termination of its contract with Kim Jong-kook through an emergency press release on Tuesday afternoon. Kim Jong-kook was appointed as the 10th Tigers head coach after the end of the 2021 season and signed a three-year contract, but was forced to step down before completing the contract period.
KIA club previously recognized on the 25th that head coach Kim Jong-guk was being investigated by investigative authorities over allegations of bribery. Under the current situation, head coach Kim Jong-guk suspended his duties after judging that it was difficult to direct the first-team spring camp, which will begin in Canberra, Australia, on the 31st. If head coach Kim Jong-guk is cleared of the charges, he has left room to return to the scene.
However, it has been revealed that the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office (chief prosecutor Lee Il-kyu) requested arrest warrants for former coach Kim Jong-guk and former KIA general manager Jang Jung-seok on charges of negligence and bribery on Monday morning. The two are scheduled to attend the hearing on the warrant’s validity on Thursday morning.
Former head coach Kim Jong-guk and former general manager Jang Jung-seok are reportedly accused of receiving money and goods worth 100 million won and tens of millions of won, respectively, from a franchise coffee company, one of the sponsors of the KIA Tigers. In the case of former general manager Jang Jung-seok, he is even accused of demanding “back money” in the process of discussing multi-year contracts with catcher Park Dong-won (current LG Twins), who belonged to KIA at the time of the 2022 season.
Kia could no longer wait and trust former coach Kim Jong-kook. The team initially decided to dismiss Kim Jong-kook by applying an act of damaging his dignity to the former coach.
Since the KBO League was launched in 1982, Lee Jinyoung Kim, the head coach of the Sammi Superstars, was the only current professional baseball coach who was arrested in 1983. However, Jinyoung Kim was accused of assaulting the referee during the game, not being involved in “corruption.”
KIA is in complete disarray ahead of the start of its spring camp. After finishing sixth last year and failing to secure the postseason, it eagerly prepared for this season, but faced a disastrous situation where it had to find a new manager.
It is not uncommon for a manager to be suddenly replaced in a professional baseball league. However, as was the case with Kia this time, there was no precedent for a manager to be dismissed for corruption charges.
Usually, coaches are replaced no matter how late they are, they are replaced before the end of the regular season or before the closing camp begins. Even if it is for smooth preparation for the next season and power plan, the year is never over. 꽁머니지급
KIA discussed its management plan for the 2024 season with former coach Kim Jong-guk, from the closing camp in November last year to the coaching staff and the front seminar on the 22nd. As the head coach who drew the sketch with him resigned in disgrace, he will be in a “mental crisis.”