Pat McLoone, a hometown boy who worked his way up from part-time clerk to assistant managing editor of the

Daily News

, has been named managing editor of the newspaper, Editor Michael Days announced yesterday.

"He has clearly distinguished himself - and the News - in every position that he has held," Days said.

McLoone, 49, who grew up in Olney playing pimpleball and stick ball, was still a student at La Salle University when he left The Bulletin in 1980 to join the Daily News as a part-time editorial assistant.

He got the job through Daily News sportswriter Ted Silary, who covered McLoone when Pat played on the La Salle High School basketball team. McLoone graduated from La Salle High School in 1977.

McLoone has worked since as editorial assistant, sportswriter, copy editor, night sports editor, sports editor, executive sports editor and assistant managing editor.

"This is the only real job I've ever had, because this is where my whole family lives and because I love the Daily News," McLoone said yesterday.

"I enjoy the great opportunity to work with one of the best sports departments in America and with many truly funny, truly talented people throughout the newspaper. I expect the next years to be every bit as enjoyable as my first 28."

McLoone's promotion to managing editor follows the departure of fellow assistant managing editor Wendy Warren to become editor of philly.com and a vice president of Philadelphia Media Holdings, which owns the Daily News and Inquirer and the newspapers' Web site.

"While continuing to run our nationally ranked and award-winning sports department, for the past three years Pat shared with Wendy the responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the paper," Days said.

"Clearly, he has been a key driver, and he has done it all with great creativity, collegiality and good humor. In addition, he has deftly worked with departments throughout our company with the goal of increasing readership and revenue both in print and online."

In other promotions announced by Days:

_ Design and operations editor Michelle Bjork becomes assistant managing editor/operations.

_ Sports Editor Josh Barnett will run the sports department and carry the title of executive sports editor.

_ City Editor Gar Joseph will run the city desk as that department's top editor. *