SoftBank Hawks second team coach Hiroki Kokubo, who previously managed Japan’s national baseball team Samurai Japan, will be promoted to first team coach.
According to Japanese media outlets such as the Yomiuri Shimbun and Sportshochi, SoftBank announced today that “Kokubo, the second team coach, will become the first team coach.” Kokubo will officially hold a press conference on May 23.
Kokubo joined the Fukuoka Dai-E Hawks (now SoftBank) in 1994 and played nine seasons until 2002, then spent three seasons (2004-2006) with the Yomiuri Giants before returning to SoftBank for six seasons (2007-2012). Kokubo, who formed a center field partnership with Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop at Yomiuri in 2006, was a power hitter who batted .273 with 2,041 doubles, 413 home runs and 1,304 RBIs in 2,057 career games.
After retiring from baseball and spending a season as an NHK baseball commentator in 2013, Kokubo was named head coach of Japan’s national team shortly thereafter, leading the team to a third-place finish at the 2015 Premier 12 and a fourth-place finish at the 2017 World Baseball Classic before stepping down. Kokubo is also well known to Korean fans for his role in the “Tokyo Blitz” against Japan in the semifinals of the 2015 Premier 12.짱구카지노 주소
After stepping down as head coach of the national team, Kokubo returned to his parent club SoftBank in 2021 as the first team head coach. He then took over as second team coach in 2022, leading SoftBank’s second team to the Western League (second division) title.
SoftBank finished the season in third place in the Pacific League with 71 wins, 69 losses, and three ties (a winning percentage of 0.507) and advanced to the Climax Series, where they were eliminated by the Chiba Lotte Marines in two games to one. Following the resignation of Hiroshi Fujimoto, the team promoted Kokubo, who had been second team manager, to first team manager for next season.