McMullen, a native of Cadillac in northern Michigan, lived with his wife and three children in Grand Haven, where he led a running club for kids called Chariots of Fire.
“He was always kind of an anomaly because he was 6-2 and change and probably 170 pounds,” said Tim Nichols, a former EMU runner. “Most of the guys he was competing with were 5-8, 120 pounds. He looked like a giant when he was on the track with a lot of guys he was running against.”
McMullen lost two toes in a lawn mowing accident in 1997. But he still won the mile run the next year at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships.