FRANCIS "FRANK" WYNN PULATTIE, 82, the husband of Jo Ann
Boyd (RHS-1948) was called home to be with his Lord on
January 10, 2005. Burial was in Colony Cemetery near
Mr. Pulattie was born July 4, 1922, in Healdton, OK, to
Lillian Pulattie Nunley & Ivan Nunley. His mother, after
divorcing Nunley, regained her maiden name of Pulattie and
changed her son's name to Pulattie. He moved to Waco as a
child and attended South Junior High where he was coached in
football, (which became his life's love and profession), by
Mr. Bill Barron. He attended Waco High School and played
football under Mr. Paul Tyson where in 1939 he was named an
All-State player. He then went to Kilgore Junior College
and played football there until he returned to Waco High
School and graduated in 1940. While in his last playing
season at Waco High he played in the Texas High School
Coaches All Star Game.
After graduation he attended SMU on a football scholarship
under Matty Bell. With the outbreak of WWII he enlisted
in the Coast Guard and was appointed to the Coast Guard
Academy. During his time in the Coast Guard he boxed in
an exhibition event going two rounds with Jack Dempsey.
Transferring from the Coast Guard to the Navy he entered
Naval Aviation, studying pre-flight at Cal-Poly and later
at the University of Iowa where he also ran track, excelling
in the obstacle course. He received an appointment to the
Navy Academy but declined it in order to return to SMU,
finish his college degree and play football. While at SMU
he played as a blocking back for All-American Doak Walker
who once said, "I just run through the holes Pulattie opens
up for me." He was named Honorable mention All-American in
football, and earned his bachelors degree and later his
master's degree from SMU.
He played professional football for both the Pittsburgh
Steelers and the New York Giants, but knee injuries led him
to leave professional football and begin a career coaching
high school football. He began at Itasca where his team
went 6-0 their first year. He later went to Riesel where
his team won the Jinx Tucker Traveling Trophy for the first
time in the school history.
Pulattie spent many years coaching football and track at
various Texas schools including Big Spring where he established
the tennis program. Other schools included Hamilton, Livingston,
Ysleta El Paso and a year in California where he was voted
Outstanding Coach in Northern California. Pulattie was one
of the coaches highlighted in Ty Cashion's book on football
coaching giants, "Pigskin pulpit."
In 2002 he was inducted into the Waco High School Hall of Fame.
He served many years as high school principal, including China
Spring. He retired in 1984 from a superintendency in Brewster
County to return home to Waco. He became active in tennis both
as a player and board member at the Charlie McCleery Tennis
Center. He was a charter member of Central United Methodist
Church where he served on the location and building committee
and was a member of the pastoral advisory committee at one time.
He also served at various times as Sunday school teacher, Pastor
Parish Relations Committee member, Bible study leader and usher.
He was baptized into the fellowship of Edgefield Baptist Church.
He later was a member of First Baptist Church of Woodway. He
attended Darrell Lanius's Sunday School Class which was a favorite
of his. During his years of coaching and teaching, he was a
positive influence and role model for hundreds of young people
who came to know and love him and who continued to call, write
and visit him after his retirement from the public schools.
Survivors at the time of his death include his wife, the former
Jo Ann Boyd; daughter, Pattie Jo Goff and husband, Larry of
Denton; sons, Mike and wife, Linda and Dan and wife, Sharon of
Georgetown; step-daughter, Janice Roye of Waco; stepson, Jay
Roye and wife, Beth of Dallas; seven grandchildren; and two
In January of 2006, the formal announcement will be made that the
late Mr. Pulattie is to be inducted into the Texas High School
Hall of Fame in the spring of 2006.