Toby Nelson is going home.
The business manager and sports director at the Zone Corporation, which encompasses WKIT-FM (100.3), WZLO-FM (103.1 and 98.3) and 620 AM The Pulse, is returning to his native Dover-Foxcroft to serve as Foxcroft Academy’s director of communications and marketing.
He will replace Graham Pearsall, who is leaving to attend graduate school.
Nelson will officially begin his new job on July 1.
The 39-year-old Nelson also has had an impressive play-by-play career that has earned him several awards.
He becomes the second prominent eastern Maine sportscaster to leave a Bangor-area station in recent months after Clem LaBree departed 92.9 FM The Ticket to become an operations specialist at Bangor’s Eastern Maine Medical Center.
“It was a tough decision, not one I took lightly,” said Nelson, who spent 18 years working for the Zone Corporation. “This station is very near and dear to my heart. I’ll miss a lot of the people. I’ve developed a lot of relationships over the years.
“But it was the right decision at the right time. It will be a new challenge, and I’ll have the opportunity to make a difference,” said Nelson. “I’ll also be able to go home. I spent a lot of hours broadcasting games there, I went to school there, and I know a lot of people in the community. I never really left. It was always there for me.”
Nelson said he, his wife, Miranda, and 11-year-old son, Joseph, will continue to live in Bangor.
His job at Foxcroft will entail a number of responsibilities such as writing press releases, managing the website and social media outlets, being the editor of the Foxcroft Academy alumni magazine, which comes out twice per year, and teaching a class entitled Applied Media Technology.
He also will continue to teach sports journalism at the New England School of Communications in Bangor, something he has done for 14 years.
And he would like to continue doing television play-by-play for the Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s schoolboy and schoolgirl high school basketball tournament games if his schedule allows. He has been doing that since 2007.
He preferred not to discuss the financial terms but said he will be making more money.
“[Foxcroft Academy] made it worth my while. But it’s not about the money, it’s about a chance to go home, make a difference and feel like I’m doing something worthwhile,” said Nelson.
Foxcroft Academy athletic director Tim Smith called the hiring of Nelson “outstanding.”
“With his talents and passion for the school, I couldn’t be more excited,” Smith said.
Arnold Shorey, the head of school at Foxcroft Academy, said having someone in charge of all aspects of social media is vital these days, and Nelson is well-versed in all areas and “really fits the bill.”
“Having an online presence, the written word, video … Toby excels in all of those areas. And he loves Foxcroft Academy. He’s the perfect candidate. We’re very fortunate to have him” said Shorey.
Nelson will have a more flexible schedule at Foxcroft Academy and expects to be able to spend more time with his family.
Nelson graduated from Foxcroft Academy in 1995 after playing four years of basketball and two years of baseball while also running track and cross-country.
He suffered a broken hand his sophomore year and began dabbling in broadcasting for WDME-FM in Dover-Foxcroft.
He went on to attend Husson University in Bangor and graduated in 2002.