Seoul:South Korea installed a homegrown coach at the helm of its national soccer team for the first time in seven years on Friday, breaking away from its strong penchant for Dutchmen for the post following its semifinal success in the 2002 World Cup.
Huh Jung-moo, coach of the local K-League side Chonnam Dragons, was named to lead South Korea through qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, an official of the Korea Football Association said on customary condition of anonymity citing protocols.
The official declined to give details, including the terms of Huh's contract.
The new coach replaced Pim Verbeek of the Netherlands who resigned in August following the squad's less-than-expected performance of finishing third at the Asian Cup.
The post has since been vacant. Verbeek was named new Australian coach this week.
Huh, 52, had coached South Korea in 1998-2000 before the country began naming foreigners for the post, starting with Dutchman Guus Hiddink.
Hiddink, now Russia's coach, guided South Korea to the semifinals of the 2002 World Cup that the country co-hosted with Japan, making the squad the first Asian team to reach the place.
That made Hiddink a national hero in South Korea.
After Hiddink, South Korea saw four other foreign coaches - all of them Dutch, except Humberto Coelho of Portugal. The other Dutch-born coaches were Jo Bonfrere, Dick Advocaat and Verbeek.
Local media reported that South Korea tried to hire a foreigner this time too, but had to settle for a local coach after its offers were turned down by candidates, such as former French coach Gerard Houllier and former Ireland coach Mick McCarthy.
Huh was one of the best known South Korean players in the 1970s-80s. He also played for the Dutch-side PSV Eindhoven in 1980-83.