The number of acting managers in the lower levels of the K League has increased
Jeju United and Suwon Samseong have switched to acting managers in the K League 1, and it will be interesting to see if they can shake things up.
Jeju head coach Nam Ki-il resigned on Nov. 26, taking responsibility for the team’s poor performance.
Nam was appointed as Jeju’s 16th head coach in 2020 and led the club to the K League 2 title in the 2020 season and promotion to the top flight, followed by two consecutive Final A appearances (2021 and 2022).
After the team failed to qualify for the Final A (1-6th place) after going winless in their last five matches (1-4) until the match against Seoul on March 23, Nam resigned to shake things up. Jeju appointed assistant coach Chung Jo-guk as acting head coach.
Last-place Suwon fired head coach Kim Byung-soo on the same day and turned to acting coach Yeom Ki-hoon.
Kim, who took over in May, led the team to two consecutive wins against Ulsan Hyundai and Gangwon FC in July, but the team has lost four straight games in its last four matches and has been unable to climb out of last place.
Suwon, which fired coach Lee Byung-geun in April, followed it up with the dismissal of coach Kim Byung-soo in September.
According to the Korea Professional Football Association, there have been 60 cases of acting managers in the K League since the introduction of the promotion system in 2013. FC Seoul and Daejeon Hana Citizens (6 times), Seongnam FC (5 times), Daegu FC and Ansan Greeners (4 times) are the most frequent acting managers.
Among the K League clubs, Ulsan Hyundai, Pohang Steelers, Gimcheon Sangmu, Chungnam Asan, and Gimpo FC have never had an acting head coach since the introduction of the promotion system.
The top three months for acting head coach transitions are August (13), September (11), and May (9). August and September are the months when the pressure to perform increases towards the end of the season. May is a time when teams that have had a bad start to the season change managers to turn things around.
There are 11 coaches who have been recognized for their good performance after serving as acting managers. Choi Won-kwon, Lim Jong-heon, Lee Byung-geun, Jeon Jeon-joon, Andre, Lee Ki-hyung, Son Hyun-joon, Lee Young-min, Song Sun-ho, Cho Jin-ho, and Nam Ki-il have made the transition.
Nam Ki-il served as acting head coach of Gwangju FC for approximately one year and five months until the end of the 2014 season after then-head coach Yeo Bum-gyu resigned in August 2013 due to poor performance. This is the longest acting head coach stint in history. During that time, Nam won 25 games, drew 13 and lost 18 in 56 matches, and Gwangju won promotion in the 2014 season, defeating Gyeongnam FC in the promotion playoffs. Nam took over as head coach the following year for the 2015 season.
Lee Byung-geun, who was named head coach of Daegu in the 2019 season, served as acting head coach from the 2020 season. After a shaky start with three draws and one loss by the fourth round of the regular season, the team maintained a mid-table position throughout the rest of the season, finishing fifth in the K League 1 and reaching the Final A for the second consecutive year. Lee’s first full season as head coach in 2021 saw the club finish third, the highest finish in the club’s history, as well as an FA Cup runner-up finish and a first-ever Asian Football Confederation Champions League (ACL) round of 16 appearance.
Jeon was appointed acting head coach of the Jeonnam Dragons after the 21st round of the 2019 K League 2 regular season. Since his appointment, the former acting head coach has won seven games, drawn five and lost three, helping the team climb from eighth place to sixth. He took over as full-time head coach in the 2020 season and won the FA Cup in the 2021 season.
In the 2016 season, Incheon United acting coach Lee Ki-hyung took charge of a team that was in the bottom 12 and facing relegation after 28 regular K League 1 rounds. Under Lee, Incheon won six games, drew three and lost one, finishing in 10th place and securing promotion. Lee, who took over as full-time head coach in the 2017 season, led the team to a ninth-place finish.
In the 2015 season, FC Anyang finished 11th in the K League 2 (2W8D6L) by the 16th round, but after Lee Young-min took over as acting head 토토사이트 coach, the team went on a winning streak of four straight games and finished the season in sixth place with 12W7D7L. The team finished the 2016 season in ninth place after Lee took over as full-time head coach.
In the 2013 season, Daejeon was 12th (2W9D19L) at the end of 30 rounds. Since taking over as acting head coach in October, Cho Jin-ho has won five games, drawn two and lost just once. Daejeon was relegated to the K-League 2 (then known as the K-League Challenge) due to their goal difference. After taking over as head coach in 2014, Cho won the second division title and was promoted to the first division in 2015.