Success has followed Tony Cullen throughout his soccer career. And it’s been a long and busy career, too.
Starting in his early years as a youth player in his native Ireland, Tony Cullen’s love for the game has been quite evident with his involvement as a player, coach and nationally-known referee.
Tony’s playing career in America included years with West Indies United, Elizabeth Irish and United SC. Then it was on to a coaching career that started in 1974 with the Kearney Irish Americans of the Schaefer League, two years with the Belleville Recreation teams that won Division I championships, then two seasons with the Division II Belleville I Cobras, who were league finalists in 1977-78.
For four seasons (1978-81) Tony coached Division I Jersey Gunners who won Northern Counties League and League Cup titles, a N.J. State championship in 1979-80 and a spot in the State Cup semifinals in 1981.
Tony’s Thistle Boys Division I team was State Cup runner up in 1981-82 and league champs in 1980-81. A USSF C License coach, Tony served as Northern Counties League Division I select coach for a season, then guided Sport Club Portuguese to the 1982-83 Northern League championship. He was the Northern Counties League Under 17 ODP coach in 1993.
Tony Cullen’s administrative career is soccer has produced similar results. An active USSF youth referee from 1974-86, he has been the N.J. Youth Referee Administrator since 1984, served as USSF Referee Instructor from 1986-94 and is in his tenth season as NJSSA assistant assignor.
As the USSF State Referee Assessor since 1994, Tony also has served as Assignor Instructor for the USSF, was LISA League youth coordinator for six years, LISA’s voting representative to the NJSA and NJYSA for six years and also was the NJSA’s Under-23 administrator and assignor for five years.
For the past 25 years he has been the Northern Counties League referee coordinator, has served as USSF Open Cup commissioner for three years and the NJSYSA Olympic Development Program evaluator since 1998.
A founder of the Belleville Soccer Association in 1976 he served that program as coaching advisor, vice president, chairman, and referee coordinator. NYSYSA’s State Cup Commissioner, Tony has been the USSF Class I state referee emeritus since 1993 and was a USSF state referee from 1986-93.
Inducted into the NJSYSA Hall of Fame in 1990, Tony won the N.J. Soccer Referee Association Tobiens Award in 1994, the Northern Counties Referee Recognition Award in 1998 and LISA and NCSA Recognition Awards. On the national level Tony has been Instructor in Charge at the State Assessor Workshop in Colorado Springs in 1998 and the National Assessor Clinic in Virginia in 1996. He has assessed over 100 referees in games from youth to the Region I amateur and youth finals and to the professional ranks in the USISL.