Michael Wholey: Teacher by day, coach by night
Updated: Feb 8, 2019
Head coach. Full-time teacher. Assistant athletic director. Director of television production. Director of scouting. To say that Michael Wholey is a “busy guy” would be an understatement. Listening to his to-do list can make anyone reevaluate their daily priorities. However, the man with nearly a dozen responsibilities can’t get enough of what he does best: teaching television production and coaching basketball.
Wholey works seven days a week, going back-and-forth from the classroom to the basketball court. Despite the constant grind, Wholey says working at Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School is nothing compared to the grueling schedule he juggled when he coached at some of the top college basketball programs in the country.
“In the job I was in before, I felt like I was consistently working 18-hour days,” Wholey said. “I didn’t know what day of the week it was.”
Balancing both the sports and broadcast world is no easy task for Michael Wholey.
After ten years of long car rides and plane trips in search of the best young players for schools like the University of Memphis and American University, Wholey realized that he needed a career change. Coincidentally, Archbishop McCarthy High was looking for an experienced women’s basketball coach with a background in digital media. The perfect job for Wholey was just a phone call away. He quickly reached out to the athletic director to find more information about this potential position.
“Every three years [Archbishop McCarthy High] tries to add programs here…They were looking to expand on some type of digital media,” Wholey said. “Everything happens for a reason. Small world type of stuff.”
It was settled. They needed him, and he needed them. After Wholey relocated to South Florida, he hit the ground running. His hustle hasn’t stopped yet.
Tucked away near vending machines in a dark breezeway, you’ll find a gray door with a sign that reads, “Michael Wholey: Practical Arts.” Beyond that gray door, what looks like a professional television news studio is actually a classroom designed by Wholey himself.
The Emerson College alum turned what was once a sports equipment room, teacher’s lounge and office into a state-of-the-art studio. Every morning, 30 to 40 eager students band together inside the studio to plan MavNews, a 15-minute live morning show that’s broadcasted to the entire school.
Meanwhile, on the other side of campus in a cold gymnasium, there are other students that Wholey mentors. He coaches 12 varsity women’s basketball players every day either at the crack of dawn or right at sunset. His practices are filled with a chaotic order that only true athletes and coaches could understand.
Loud voices, pounding feet and enthusiastic clapping echo off the walls. The crisp sound of a made basket lingers in the air. This is what a united team sounds like.
Wholey is obviously no stranger to the sport. It practically runs in his blood.
“My dad was a Division I player, me and my brother and sister all played Division III college basketball, so I think our reputation around town was kind of like a crazy basketball family,” Wholey explained.
Balancing both the sports and broadcast world is no easy task. But Wholey has always faced adversity by taking everything one step at a time. For someone who is used to a hectic work life, he’s learned to live in the moment and take each day in stride.
By Amber Amortegui