Thomas Jefferson head coach Michael “Doc” Kulish achieved a career milestone this past season.
Kulish, who has coached the Jaguars for 22 years, posted his 300th career victory when Jaguars blanked the Elizabeth Forward, 4-0, at home in a section matchup.
“Coaching is teaching, inspiring, developing and mentoring others to perform to the best of their ability levels, both on and off the field,” Kulish said. “I have been striving to achieve these goals at Thomas Jefferson for the past 22 seasons.
“When you demonstrate a passion for the game, both individual and team success will carry both on and off the field.”
Kulish owns a 304-145-26 career record. He has been named WPIAL and state coach of the year, and has been lauded as section coach of the year multiple times.
During his tenure, the Jaguars won WPIAL titles in 2001, 2002 and 2004, and were PIAA champions in 2002.
“The key to success in a high school soccer program is to have the student-athletes believe in themselves,” Kulish said. “Student-athletes want to play, interact, learn and be a member of a team with their friends, represent their school, and be recognized for their efforts.
“Having fun, working hard and communicating with their coaches and fellow athletes will mold the integrity and character of each player competing in this sport.”
Kulish, who said he has no intentions of retiring anytime soon, has mentored hundreds of athletes on the pitch at Thomas Jefferson. Many have gone on to college, and in some cases, professional careers.
Kulish, who last week was presented with a proclamation acclaiming his 300 wins and coaching career by Sen. Matt Smith, recently pored through the TJ soccer-program archives and selected a list of the top players he has coached.
“This was an extremely difficult task for me,” he said. “These players were the best-skilled team players. My decision was not entirely based on individual statistics, but on how well these players worked toward the betterment of the team.
“Also reflected was the players’ academic achievements, as well as their conduct and attitude on and off the pitch.”
The listing consists of three midfielders/forwards, 12 midfielders, nine forwards, five defenders and two goalkeepers.
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5820 or [email protected].