Archers Lacrosse Huddle
Photo courtesy of Nick Ieradi.

How Archers Club Liaison Paul Kim’s Love for the Game Facilitates Success

By Zach Carey

Jun 29, 2023

“I want to make sure that every player we have feels like a princess when they walk in the locker room.”

That’s the goal for Archers Club Liaison Paul “PK” Kim in his new role with the team. In the league’s fifth season, each team has added a club liaison as a do-it-all logistics mastermind. In just over a month with the Archers, Kim has established himself as an integral piece of both the club’s day-to-day operations and the overall culture. 

“I feel like he’s just always got our back and wants to make sure that we feel as well prepared as possible,” says veteran midfielder Ryan Ambler, who knows Kim from back when they were both a part of the Denver Outlaws organization. “It’s definitely made things feel even more first class than they’ve been in prior years. Having someone who’s dedicated to things like travel, logistics on game day, all of that stuff is so buttoned up that it takes all the stress off and you can just focus on playing.” 

As the Club Liaison, Kim is responsible for anything and everything that the players need to be successful professional athletes. From booking flights, informing players and coaches of where to go and how to get there, taking care of all the club’s equipment, setting up the locker room, cleaning up the locker room, providing the pre- and post-game meals, packing everything up in the locker room and on the field, helping players get set up on the payroll, getting them on apps to cover expenditures while traveling, and more, Kim is the go-to guy for all 25 Archers whenever they need something.

“PK is the best,” emphasizes Archers Head Coach Chris Bates. “We’re lucky to have him around. He does his job and goes over and above and does it with a sense of humor. Our guys immediately respected his effort and his love of the game which is so apparent. He just wants to be part of a winning organization and contribute in his own way. He’s been an A+ so far and we’re fired up to have him.” 

“He is a part of our team and without someone like that, we might not be able to go as far as we can,” adds Ambler. “The little things he brings to the table, his personality, his transparency, how enthusiastic he is contributes to the overall culture of our team.”

For Kim, a 54-year old certified “lax rat” per Ambler, this job is a lifetime of lacrosse in the making. “I feel like I was blessed and that I was meant to be here,” says Kim. “And I’m not one of those people that’s about destiny and things like that,” he adds with a laugh.

Kim’s journey to this job with the Archers and the PLL has been decades in the making. A lacrosse guy since his early years, Kim worked in corporate America as a financial analyst in New York in the early 2000s before realizing his true calling was the game of lacrosse. In his words, his corporate life “was just one of those things where the more and more I did it, I realized it made me unhappy.” 

From there, Kim started working for a lacrosse equipment company called Lacrosse Unlimited and eventually moved out to Colorado to open up a Lacrosse Unlimited store out west. Through a connection with Matt Bocklet and the Bocklet family, Kim became the equipment manager for the Denver Outlaws in 2014, which would happen to be the year they won the team’s first MLL Championship. He stayed in that role with the Outlaws for seven years, winning three MLL Championships and making the championship game three of the other four seasons. 

When the MLL folded, Kim was keen to join the PLL. For the first four years, nothing popped up. But, this offseason, his connections in the league suggested him for the club liaison position and the gig with the Archers lined up perfectly. 

Kim happened to know Chris Bates’ wife, Melissa, from back when he worked for Lacrosse Unlimited in the Northeast. When Bates got a list of potential liaisons for his club and his wife took a look at it, she pointed at Kim’s name and matter-of-factly told him “Yeah, this is the one you’re taking.” 

Kim’s connections to the Archers don’t stop there. Connor DeSimone’s father owns Lacrosse Unlimited and the two of them reconnected in Albany, hugging like “long lost family,” before even saying a word to one another. 

Now that he’s back in a competitive environment, Kim is as grateful as ever for this opportunity. “There’s nothing like a competitive team in that locker room environment,” he says. “With mutual agreement, where we understand the blood, sweat, and tears is all shared. We all eat the same mud.”

It’s those memories that matter for Kim, when “you’re all pointed to the same goal: To win championships. For me, as I just passed the age of 54, I’ve found that those are what you really remember and savor.” 

Beyond the job description, it’s his attitude on and especially off the field that has made him a difference maker for the team so far. 

“He is a part of the culture that we’re trying to continue to build just as much as anyone,” says Ambler, adding that Kim has fit right in with all the players and staff. “Just cracking some jokes and hanging out, that stuff goes a long way and is a key piece to building a really amazing culture. It’s not just the players who build that, it’s everyone. And he’s a big piece in that.” 

Ambler continues, noting how “during the game, he’s as serious as they come and he wants to win and do anything in his power to help us succeed.” But, what makes Kim particularly special is how much fun he is to be around. “The first thing I think of with PK is fun loving,” Ambler says. “He always wants to be around, he always has a smile on his face. He’s always just happy to be around with the guys, with the fellas.” 

“Personality wise, I’m kind of the opposite of who we are,” says Kim with a chuckle. “Our locker room is very quiet, very calm, and very soothing. Me? I’m a bull in a china shop. I’m loud, I’m banging gongs. I’m screaming.” 

Of course, that’s all just a means to provide the players with whatever they need. “Somehow in that mix, I’ve learned it’s never about me, it’s about them,” he says. 

For both Kim and the entire Archers organization, his job with the club has undoubtedly been a major success so far. And he knows how special of a position he’s in. “All the people that work in this league, it’s not just a job. It’s a labor of love. It’s about being what we want the sport to be, having a hand in the clay and molding the sport to be what we want it to be.” 

Nobody has embodied that spirit and that selfless commitment to the game of lacrosse more than Kim, and there’s no telling the impact that his contributions to the Archers will have as he and the team chase the club’s first championship. 

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