WHEELING - Tom Pasco will soon be trading in the hills of the Ohio Valley for the beaches of South Carolina.
Pasco, in his sixth season guiding Wheeling Post 1's American Legion baseball squad, will step down at the end of the season and begin teaching and coaching positions at Carolina Forest High School in Myrtle Beach.
''I've been looking to get back down south and my in-laws moved there last year,'' Pasco said prior to Thursday night's game against Fairmont Post 17. ''My wife gave me the OK and with our son only being 4 we thought it would be a good time to try it.
Wheeling Post 1 manager Tom Pasco is stepping down at the end of the season.
''Baseball-wise it's really a nice set-up there. It's basically year-round and that's right up my alley.
''It's an opportunity I couldn't pass up.''
Pasco will serve as pitching coach for a Panthers varsity program that has existed since 1999 and competes in Class 4A, the largest prep classification in the state. He will also be an assistant football coach.
''It's going to be top-notch competition,'' he said. ''Getting back down that way has always been a goal of mine since college.''
For Pasco, college was Mercer University in Macon, Ga. After graduation he returned to the Ohio Valley for coaching stints at West Liberty University, Wheeling Park and Bridgeport.
In 2007, he took over for Don Morris as Post 1's skipper.
''He kind of revitalized the program a lot,'' Pasco said of Morris. ''I'm grateful to him for what he did.''
Pasco has worked his own magic for Post 1, guiding the team to Area One titles every season and a state runner-up finish.
And with the team currently at 10-4, Pasco hopes to help make more memories before he leaves.
''It's exciting because we have the (state) tournament here,'' he said. ''We haven't won a state title since my 16-year-old year down at Patterson (Field). Hopefully, we'll have a little luck on our side.''
More than anything, Pasco will miss his players.
''There have been some really good kids here and they're fun to be around and this year is no exception,'' he said. ''We have great leadership. I give our older guys a lot of credit.''
Pasco is a proud supporter of Legion baseball. And while many teams - including his own - have had to work harder to find players recently, he is confident the Legion program as a whole will persevere.
''We've been fortunate,'' he said. ''We get some pretty good talent. We're in direct competition with travel teams and everything now and there have always been people who have been down on Legion.
''It goes in cycles, I think. I'm really proud of what Legion baseball stands for and what Post 1 stands for. I know the kids are, too.''