Kozo Otagaki

From BR Bullpen

Biographical Information[edit]

Kozo Otagaki coached and managed the Japanese national team for over a decade, including two stints in the Olympics.

Otagaki played for Toshiba in the industrial leagues after college. He began coaching for Toshiba in 1981. He coached for Japan in the 1986 Amateur World Series, 1993 Intercontinental Cup (a Bronze Medal), 1994 Baseball World Cup (Bronze), 1994 Asian Games (Gold), 1995 Asian Championship (Gold), 1995 Intercontinental Cup (Silver) and 1996 Olympics (Silver). He then managed Japan in the 1997 Intercontinental Cup, when they won Gold, ending a run of the Cuban national team of 151 straight wins over 15 years, the best performance ever by a national team. Among his key players in that win were Yoshinobu Takahashi and Koji Uehara. He managed Japan in the 1998 Haarlem Baseball Week, 1998 Asian Games (Silver), 1999 Asian Championship (Silver), 1999 Intercontinental Cup (Bronze) and 2000 Olympics. In the Sydney Olympics, Japan finished a disappointing fourth. Otagaki got blamed for not working as well with professional players (now allowed in the Olympics) as he had with amateur players in the past. As a result, he was initially replaced by Shigeo Nagashima for the 2004 Olympics (after Nagashima had a stroke, Kiyoshi Nakahata wound up managing Japan).

Main Source: Japanese wikipedia entry