Distinguished Alumnus
Charter Class of 2013
Carol Pullen
(August 17, 1931 - June 20, 2019)

AHS Class of 1949

Carol Pullen’s desire to become a successful coach began at Arcola High School and lead to a Hall of Fame career. Carol, the youngest of thirteen children of Harvey W. and Myrtle Hood Pullen, was born August 17, 1931. He was Class President and American Legion award recipient with the Arcola High School Class of 1949. Carol was named football captain his senior year and also sang baritone with the boys’ chorus. He distinguished himself by earning twelve varsity letters in football, basketball and track. He was named 1948 Honorable Mention All-State halfback and his Arcola record times in the 100-yard and 220-yard dashes remained until broken by his nephew, Greg Edwards, in 1970. During his high school years, Carol hauled coal and delivered ice for the Pullen family trucking business and was a member of First Christian Church of Arcola.

Carol played football at Millikin University his first semester and then continued his studies at Eastern Illinois University where he ran track three years, earning a varsity letter his junior year. He completed his B.S. in Education in 1953. Carol’s teaching career began at Bureau Township High School in Princeton. His service in the US Army took him to the Panama Canal Zone 1954-1956. Upon his return to the states, Carol continued his education at the University of Illinois, where he earned a M.S. in Physical Education in 1957. One year teaching and coaching stints at Robinson and East Moline followed.

Pullen began his 31-year teaching and forty-year coaching career at Monmouth High School in the fall of 1959. While his early coaching career included football and basketball, he left his legendary mark on the track/field and cross country programs at MHS. It was reported Coach Pullen brought an enormous amount of integrity to his program and set the benchmark for all coaches in western Illinois. He served as head varsity track and/or cross county coach in both the boys’ and girls’ programs for thirty-nine years. He was MHS Athletic Director 1979-1989. His teams were consistent conference and sectional champions and his athletes garnered over thirty state-finals medals. Carol was inducted into the Illinois Track and Cross Country Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame in 1998. The Monmouth community recognized his longtime dedication to his students by dedicating the Monmouth Community All-Weather Track in his honor in 1997. He was also inducted into the MHS Athletic Hall of Fame. While his coaching duties officially ended with his retirement in 1999, Carol has been able to stay close to the track program and the athletes by serving as a starter at track and cross country meets.

Carol is a fifty-three year member of the Monmouth Lions Club, a member of the Warren County Retired Teachers’ Association and has served each organization twice as President. He continues to speak to high school history students about patriotism, service to country and the toll World War II took on his family and our country. Carol’s own military service was recognized in 2012 when he and other veterans traveled to the veterans’ memorials in Washington, D.C. on Honor Flight of the Quad Cities. He is a fifty-four year member of the First Christian Church of Monmouth, having served as deacon, elder, Sunday school teacher and Chairman of Transportation. Carol is a member of the National Fellowship of Christian Athletes and former “Huddles” sponsor at MHS.

Carol has a son, Gary, and daughter, Michelle, from his first marriage. He and wife, Rosemary, also a retired teacher, are parents of Philip, grandparents of four and great-grandparents of one.

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Last Revision November 10, 2017