The next vacant head coach of the Japanese baseball team has been virtually confirmed.
On the 25th, Japanese media such as Sankei Sports reported that “Hirokazu Ibata, the current coach of the under-12 national team, is likely to be the next coach of Samurai Japan.”
The previous head coach of the Japanese baseball team was coach Hideki Kuriyama. Coach Kuriyama’s term expired in May of this year after winning the WBC (World Baseball Classic) held in March of this year.
Since then, NPB (Japan Baseball Organization) has focused its efforts on finding the next manager. Top legends such as Hideki Matsui and Ichiro Suzuki emerged as strong candidates, but difficulties continued. In the end, Coach Ibata, who is currently leading the under-12 national team, was actually designated as the next coach.
Coach Ibata is a former shortstop coach who played for the Chunichi Dragons and Yomiuri Giants. He served as the first-team infield defense and base running coach at Yomiuri, and also served as the infield defense and base running coach for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic team.
The reason why Coach Ibata emerged as a strong candidate is expected to be because of his rich leadership experience. After his retirement from active duty, he gained a lot of experience by coaching extensively not only with Yomiuri and the national team, but also with the social baseball team NTT East, Taiwanese clubs, and his alma mater.스포츠토토
Coach Ibata, who has been at the helm of the under-12 national team since last year, is scheduled to make his debut as the head coach of the adult A national team at the APBC (Asian Professional Baseball Championship) to be held in November.
‘Nikkan Sports’ reported, “As is the case, the new coach’s term will be until the next WBC, which will be held in March 2026. However, NPB plans to decide later whether to take charge of APBC in November and then take charge of the next WBC.”