March 31st, 2016

Hyland's Heroes: Joyce Kulp

Samantha Stallings

Staff Writer

Hyland's Heroes: Joyce Kulp
From Left Ryan, Kevin, Emily, and Joyce Kulp / photo provided by the Kulp family

The following feature is a part of a bi-weekly series, sponsored by Hyland Insurance. "Hyland's Heroes" is a series of profiles that spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports.

Know someone that you think should be featured as the next "Hyland's Hero”? Send your recommendation to

Joyce Kulp, was born and raised in Louisville,Ky. Joyce graduated from Manual High School in 1997. After graduating from the University of Louisville College Business in 2002, she married her high school sweetheart, Kevin Kulp. Joyce and Kevin have two children Ryan, 11 who attends The DePaul School, and Emily 10 who goes to St. Nicholas Academy, Joyce works full time at Automotive Specialist.

When and how did you get your start with St. Nicholas ?

I started volunteering at St. Nicholas Academy when my son, Ryan ran track, and my daughter, Emily started playing pee-wee volleyball in 2011.

Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved?

My parents and my children are main the reasons I am involved. I have always participated in sports. My parents were always involved and had a huge impact on my athletic career. I believe it helped make me who I am today. Obviously I was very excited when my kids were at the age to be involved in school sports and I did not hesitate to be involved. I was so excited to begin my involvement and make a difference; not only for my children, but for the children I coach.

What sports did or do you volunteer to help and for how long?

I have helped with girls’ volleyball (kindergarten to fourth grade) for 5 years. I assisted coed track (3rd-8th grade) for two years. I have also coached girls’ basketball (3rd and 4th grade) for 2 years.

What’s the connection with your faith and giving your time to student athletes?

I believe that faith and sports go hand in hand. It is important to show the children how to be good sports, be team players, and to not only focus on winning, but to focus on playing with heart and a Christian attitude. We started every game with a prayer and played every game with heart! I hope this helps teach them and is something my players will carry on with them as the move on as athletes.

Who was the most influential person on your volunteer career?Why?

The most influential person in my volunteer career is my husband, Kevin. I helped him coach track, and he helped me coach basketball. He was always there for me to bounce my ideas for practices and games. He was supportive and took care of things at home when I went to practice straight from work. He cooked and made sure that our children had a healthy dinner before practice, and always saved a plate for me when I got home.  He also made sure that they had their homework done. I could not volunteer my time and work full-time without his help.  He is a wonderful inspiration, father, and husband.

What are your major themes/principle as a volunteer?

My major themes/principles are: Be a good sport, love the game, encourage each other, listen by making eye contact, respect coaches and each other, always do your best, play with heart, and have fun.

What does your role at St. Nicholas bring your family?

My role at St. Nicholas strengthened our family bond.  Having a son and a daughter with different interests makes it hard to find things to do all together.  I believe in the old saying "a family that plays together stays together."  My role as a coach gave us all as a family an opportunity to get outside and practice together and have fun.  It helped my children realize that each has different talents, strengths, and weaknesses.  They are both good at different things and were able to help each other become better athletes.

What are the fondest experiences or memories you have of your volunteer time?

My fondest memory during my volunteer time was this past basketball season coaching third and fourth grade girls’ basketball. My daughter was on the team, and my husband and son were my assistants. Basketball is and always has been my favorite sport; having my whole family involved was just an awesome experience that I will never forget. We had a wonderful group of girls who played each game with heart and always tried their best. Most importantly we all had a blast at every practice and every game. The season's goal was for the girls to improve and learn to love the game of basketball. Reaching your goal determines success, with that said - we had a very successful season!


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