Andy Ulicny, a proud coal region native of Shenandoah, was born in the Locust Mountain State Hospital on April 11, 1957. His father Frank was a legendary local figure throughout the area due to his football playing prowess as well as his coaching and teaching careers. Big Frank was a beloved mentor due to his firm yet caring nature. Mother, Anne Zinkiewicz Ulicny, was held in as high an esteem for her ability to raise the couple’s ten children. Many dubbed her as St. Anne.
After splitting his parochial school elementary education between St. Stephen’s and St. Casimir’s schools, Ulicny became a member of Shenandoah Valley’s Class of 1975. The Blue Devil was highly involved in athletics, drama, chorus, and the school newspaper. Following high school, Ulicny matriculated for four years at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and earned Bachelor’s degrees in both English and Anthropology as well as a Master of Science in Education.
For Ulicny, who settled in Shenandoah Heights, the life in education continued for the next 35 years as a teacher and Language Arts Department Chair at Southern Columbia High School. While at Southern he became known for his turnaround of the SCA Tigers Football team as well as his successful softball teams. He served the district in countless capacities. He coordinated dozens of proms, resurrected the Forensics team and Speech Class, initiated Tiger News as a daily televised broadcast, ran the Veteran’s Day Assembly, supervised the annual Graduation Project, prepared Graduation speakers, and initiated a program of summer overseas travel excursions.
Since 1986 Ulicny has partnered with Hall of Fame play-by-play announcer Jim Doyle in broadcasting football games for WHLM Radio in Bloomsburg. His weekends in the fall are happily spent serving as color analyst in covering the Berwick High School Bulldogs, the Bloomsburg University Huskies, the Southern Tigers, and other local teams.
The broadcasting pair was recognized with a “Pennsylvania Excellence in Broadcasting Award” in 2012 when their call of the Bloomsburg at West Chester Game was nominated and then voted as best football broadcast in the state that year. Ulicny himself has been honored with induction into both the Bernie Romanoski and Northern Anthracite sports Hall of Fames. He is also on Shenandoah Valley’s Wall of Fame as an honored alumni.
Ulicny has a fascination with the area’s past and has done extensive research into both Shenandoah and Schuylkill County’s History. He is a longstanding member of the Schuylkill County Historical Society and specializes in local genealogy. His personal database of local family trees has over 60,000 individuals. The harder the challenge, the more he enjoys the digging into a person’s roots.
With the turn of the new millennium Ulicny took it upon himself to see that all the tombstone inscriptions of the cemeteries up the Heights were transcribed. About a dozen, including four of the largest of the Shenandoah Parish Cemeteries, had never been recorded in any manner.
“My Shenandoah, 1966” is Ulicny’s first venture at writing a book.
Andy Ulicny is happily married to his high school sweetheart, the former Deb Berresford...the only girl he ever dated. They have one beautiful daughter, Nicole, the joy of their life, who lives and works in Norristown, PA.