NEW YORK (AP) _ Dave Wallace, pitching coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers for three seasons, was hired by the New York Mets on Thursday as assistant to general manager Steve Phillips.

``Leaving the Dodgers was a most difficult decision for me,'' Wallace said. ``Becoming the Dodgers' major-league pitching coach was my dream job. I have a chance now to expand my horizons in the game and make myself a more complete baseball man.''

Wallace, 51, succeeded Ron Perranoski as the Dodgers pitching coach before the 1995 season. Wallace is a native of Waterbury, Conn., and lives in Massachusetts.