Gwangju FC Extends Head Coach Lee Jung-hyo’s Contract Through 2027 Following Successful Season

SEOUL: Gwangju FC, a club in South Korea's K League 1, has announced a three-year contract extension for head coach Lee Jung-hyo, following a remarkably successful 2023 season. This extension demonstrates the club's confidence in Lee's leadership and strategic prowess.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the new deal will keep the 48-year-old coach at Gwangju FC until 2027, extending beyond his previous contract set to expire at the end of the 2024 season. This decision comes after Lee's significant contributions to the team's performance in recent years.

Lee, who assumed the role of head coach in December 2021, guided Gwangju FC to victory in the second-tier K League 2 in 2022. Under his guidance, the team set a new record for the most points in K League 2 history with 86, securing direct promotion to K League 1 for the 2023 season.

Defying pessimistic forecasts that predicted their struggle to avoid relegation, Gwangju FC finished the 2023 season in an impressive third place, accumulating 59 points. This achievement was bolstered by a club-record 16 wins, 11 draws, and 11 losses, surpassing the performance of K League giants Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, a team that consistently ranked first or second from 2014 to 2022.

Gwangju FC's remarkable season also earned them a spot in the playoffs for the 2024-25 Asian Football Confederation Champions League Elite. Lee's coaching acumen was recognized as he was named runner-up in the K League 1 Coach of the Year voting, following Hong Myung-bo of Ulsan Hyundai FC. Notably, Lee was voted the top coach in K League 2 for 2022.

Lee's leadership style and candid interviews have drawn comparisons to renowned tactician Jose Mourinho, further cementing his reputation in the football world.

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