Beijing 2008 Olympic champion Kim Kyung-moon returns to Korea Baseball Home Articles. WSBC

The former player and coach who led Korea to gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics has signed a three-year, 2 billion won (1.287 million euro) contract with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organisation (KBO) league. He made 700 appearances as a player in the KBO before becoming a coach.

It's official. The Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organisation (KBO) league have announced the signing of Kyung-moon Kim to a three-year contract worth $2 billion won (€1.287 million). Kim has extensive experience as both a player and a coach. His long track record of success was a key factor in his appointment.

As a coach, Kim's expertise helped the Korean national team to become the best against stronger teams and Olympic contenders in 2008. He also led the country to the WBSC Premier12 final and the bronze medal match at Tokyo 2020.

As a player, he excelled with 700 games in the KBO, where he played for ten years. He then made the leap to coaching and managed in the KBO from 1994 to 2003. He went on to coach the Doosan Bears (2004-2011) and the NC Dinos (2011-2018). He is now in charge of the national team as he did when he led his country at the 2019 WBSC Premier12 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Kim Kyung-moon flies to embrace his players after winning gold at Beijing 2008. GETTY IMAGES
Kim Kyung-moon flies to embrace his players after winning gold at Beijing 2008. GETTY IMAGES

As a player, he was undisputed. From the sidelines, his character and leadership led Korea to a historic Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Games. Kim will replace Won-ho Choi, who resigned amid the team's struggles.

The Eagles have a record of 24-32 with one draw. They are eighth in the 10-team league, 10.5 games behind leaders Kia Tigers. The team has been struggling on the field, and management have put their faith in Kim. The former Korea coach was a catcher in his playing days. He studied at Korea University in Seoul, was signed by the OB Bears (later Doosan Bears) in 1982 and became their starting catcher. He was one of the best defensive catchers in the KBO.

After leaving the competition, he moved to Atlanta, USA, to study coaching. He studied under the famous Major League Baseball (MLB) Braves coach Bobby Cox. He returned to Korea to coach the Samsung Lions (1994-1996) and Doosan Bears (1998-2003). He was appointed manager of the Bears in 2004.

He became national coach after leading the Bears to three post-season appearances in four years. He also led Korea to the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Kim coached the Bears until the 2011 season. He then moved to the NC Dinos and led them to four post-season appearances before stepping down after a last-place finish in 2018.

He has agreed to return as head coach in 2019. "I will do my best to bring back the excitement and enthusiasm of 11 years ago," Kim said at his presentation, WSBC reported. "I didn't want to run away from this challenge."