Former Muskegon Lumberjack defenseman named head coach for Korea National Team

Local Sports Journal

Former Muskegon Lumberjack defenseman Jim Paek has accepted a position as the director of hockey for the Korea Ice Hockey Association (KIHA) and head coach of the Korean Men’s National Team.

jim paek

Jim Paek

Paek, a longtime assistant coach with the Grand Rapids Griffins, began his professional career with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the IHL. During his three-year stint with the Jacks, he helped the team win the 1989 Turner Cup.

Paek, 47, was the longest-tenured coach in Griffins’ franchise history, having served behind the Grand Rapids bench for nine of the team’s 18 seasons (2005-14). A native of Seoul, South Korea, who was raised in Toronto and earned his U.S. citizenship in 2011, Paek played an essential role in the development of players during his time with the Griffins, including many current and former Detroit Red Wings.

Paek helped guide the Griffins to a Calder Cup in 2013, the American Hockey League’s regular season championship in 2005-06, and a cumulative 357-272-33-46 record (0.560) during his nine seasons. Furthermore, his influence helped Grand Rapids head coach Jeff Blashill earn the 2013 Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach for 2013-14, when the Griffins compiled a 46-23-2-5 record.

The KIHA, a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), is the governing body that oversees ice hockey in South Korea. In April, the association hosted the 2014 IIHF World Championship Division I Group A tournament in Goyang, a prelude to the 2018 Winter Olympics that will be held in Pyeongchang.

Under Paek’s leadership, South Korea will attempt to earn its first-ever Olympic hockey berth and the right to compete in the sport’s grandest international event on home ice.

 

 

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