By Ken Hohman and Mike Longo Jr.
Longevity in any facet of any job these days is considered a rarity. Then mention having the same employment for 37 years, basically unheard of for most people. However the man we’re about to introduce you to defies all that. Meet Mr. Joe Kulik.
Many from around the area know Joe as the husband of State Rep. Anita Kulik. Perhaps Joe Kulik the prominent member of the legal profession, or perhaps Joe Kulik the Kennedy Township volunteer firefighter.
Now, meet Joe Kulik the PIAA Official. For the past 37 years, Kulik has been officiating high school football games, the last of a dying breed. One would be hard pressed to dispute that statement. With rising costs, the PIAA now requires officials to pay for just about everything including their own background checks with three agencies every five years. The WPIAL and PIAA have been hard-pressed for officials for at least eight years or more in every sport.
Seems as if the youth of today or people of any age have zero interest in officiating. A job that more often than not gives one grief as opposed to accolades.
Kulik, the Montour graduate and Kennedy Township resident started his assault on the football fields of Pennsylvania in 1986, a time when he wasn't much older than the young men playing or coaching the game.
Last season, Kulik was selected to officiate the PIAA Class A State Championship game in December with local participant Bishop Canevin.
On Nov. 25 of this year, Kulik was the head man at Acrisure Stadium refereeing the WPIAL Class 2A Championship game between Beaver Falls and Steel Valley. That contest marked the 458th high school game of his 37-year tenure on the gridiron.
Hats off to you, Mr. Kulik, for a job well done.