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One of Tampa Bay’s top girls basketball coaches has resigned.
Gulf’s Mike Quarto is stepping down as head coach to pursue an administrative role, Quarto said Sunday afternoon, shortly after he told his players at the team’s season-ending banquet.
“The last two years, I’ve been thinking about moving into administration,” Quarto said. “With all the success we’ve had, to be a head coach, you have to be all in. This program is run 10 out of 12 months a year. There’s no way I could put the same amount of time in.”
Quarto was the Times’ all-Suncoast coach of the year this winter. He took a team that lost four of its top players, 86 percent of its offense and 71 percent of its rebounds and helped them advance to the region final for the second time in school history. The Buccaneers’ run included an 18-game winning streak, his 200th career victory and a 28-3 record in Class 5A.
Gulf advanced to the playoffs seven times under Quarto and also reached the region finals in 2006. Quarto compiled a 208-54 record with five district championships and five conference titles since taking over in 2003. Nine of his players signed to play in college.
Quarto, a teacher in the student support academic program, said he could be an assistant coach in the future.
“I’ll be their biggest fans, their biggest supporters,” Quarto said. “I have a wife and a baby now. They’re my first priority. To be a head coach and what’s demanded now for this program, the kids deserve someone who’s going to be 100 percent in.”