The Korean Basketball League has never seen a coach reach 500 career wins, until now. Ulsan Mobis Phoebus head coach Yoo Jae Hak hit the 500 wins milestone on Feb. 15 when his team trumped the Seoul SK Knights 70-60.
In typical Yoo Jae Hak fashion, he remained extremely humbled about the accomplishment putting all the focus on the amount of years he coached rather than the games he won.
“It is a natural result (500 wins) because I have coached for a long time. I feel a bit ashamed since the winning percentage is not that high. Seventeen years ago, when I was appointed as head coach, I never thought that I would do this job for this long. I am a lucky person. It was much more important to win the game (against SK) than being obsessed with the 500th win, because we are in a tight race for the regular season lead.” – Yoo Jae Hak
Since 2008, Yoo Jae Hak has been nothing but a winner in South Korea. He’s won four of the last five KBL championship titles and coached the Korean national team to a gold medal at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. As it stands, his Mobis Phoebus team is in first place and are strong favorites to three-peat as KBL champions.
Many basketball critics in South Korea compare Yoo Jae Hak’s coaching philosophies to legendary NBA coach Greg Popovich. Both coaches share similar aspects in the sense that they have no favourites, they’ve been lucky to have great point guards, and both coach a system that can not be broken.
Yoo Jae Hak is the best coach in South Korea. But a strange KBL rule might strip him from his title as national team head coach. In South Korea, by default, the coach who leads his team to a KBL championship becomes the national team head coach. If the rule doesn’t change, and Mobis fails to win a third straight championship, the Korean national team will see a new bench boss.