Michael Burgess out at Wharton; Anello named interim coach

Michael Burgess said he was relieved of his head coaching position by Wharton administration today, after serving as the Wildcats coach since 2022. 

NEW TAMPA – Michael Burgess posted on social media this afternoon that he is no longer the head baseball coach at Wharton High, effective immediately.

Burgess, a standout player at Hillsborough High, took over the Wildcats program one month prior to the 2022 season and compiled a record of 39-34 in his nearly three seasons.

In his post on social media, Burgess said he had made the decision earlier this season to step away at the end of his school year, but that today the “ Wharton administration made the decision to part ways with only a few games left.”

The Wildcats (8-12) have four regular season games left, including tonight’s visit to Strawberry Crest.

Reached for comment this afternoon, Burgess confirmed that his plan was to step down at the end of the 2024 season, but the school made the decision to part ways immediately.

Burgess said he was disappointed in the timing of the decision, but did “wish (the team) the best of luck.”

He also added that he will focus on his family and coaching his sons in youth baseball, but said, “I probably won’t ever take another high school head coaching job.”

813Preps spoke with Wharton principal Michael Rowan this afternoon, and he confirmed that the decision to part ways occurred today and that the school has no further comment.

Rowan said assistant coach Vito Anello will serve as interim coach for the remainder of the 2024 season.

Rowan said the search for a permanent head coach will likely start immediately and the position will likely be posted on the Hillsborough County Schools job board by the end of the week.