Former Sunbirds head coach Masashi Ogino (53) has taken the helm of the OK Financial Group Eatman Professional Volleyball Team.
The OK Financial Group Eatman Professional Volleyball Team (hereinafter referred to as the “OK Financial Group Volleyball Team”) announced on the 29th that it has appointed Coach Ogino as its next head coach. Ogino is the third head coach in the organization’s history, following Kim Se-jin and Seok Jin-wook, and the first foreign head coach of OK Financial Group Volleyball.
As the OK Financial Group Volleyball Team celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, the selection of a foreign head coach was considered from various perspectives as a sign of returning to its roots and challenging itself again. After conducting several interviews with leading figures, the team decided to appoint Ogino, who has a high understanding of Korean volleyball and is strong in basic volleyball, as the right person. 안전놀이터
An official from OK Financial Group said, “We wanted to make an innovative move in time for the club’s 10th anniversary in 2023, and to that end, we selected candidates with a foreign coach in mind from the beginning. We considered a wide range of candidates from Brazil, France, Russia, Italy, and Japan, and conducted written interviews in advance.” “After looking for someone with a high level of understanding and affection for Korean volleyball, we decided that Coach Ogino was the right person for the job. He is also a coach who can fill the gaps in the team’s fundamentals and defensive organization.”
Ogino is an “Asian volleyball powerhouse” who was a longtime defensive outside hitter from 1988 to 2010. Ogino is considered one of the most prominent names in Asian volleyball, having competed in two Olympic Games (1992, 2008) and three World Championships (1990, 1998, 2006).
After retiring from the game in 2010, he began his coaching career with the Sunbirds, leading the team until 2012. In 2017, he was reappointed as Suntory’s head coach and led the team until 2019, when his leadership helped the team return to the top tier.
Ogino is no stranger to Korean volleyball. Having played for the Japanese national team during the rivalry between Korea and Japan, he has a strong understanding of the Korean style of play and performance. He also has a long-standing connection to Korean volleyball through his ongoing interaction with the Korean national team players he faced during his playing days.
OK Financial Group Volleyball plans to return to its roots with Ogino, who played for the Suntory Sunbirds for many years, a team that is known for its fundamental play.
On taking the helm of OK Financial Group Volleyball, Ogino said, “I am excited to take on a new challenge with OK Financial Group Volleyball. I will do my best to help OK Financial Group Volleyball win the championship again. I am familiar with Korean volleyball and have a good understanding of the game. I believe that free communication is the most important aspect of running a team. I will also strengthen the defense, which is the pillar of the team, and build a system that utilizes all attack channels.”
Meanwhile, Ogino arrived in Korea on the 15th and greeted the players after finalizing his contract. After returning to Japan on the 17th, Ogino plans to complete the necessary procedures such as visa issuance and arrive in Korea at the end of May to lead the team in earnest.