2015 Inductees


Bill Annan

Bill Annan grew up in nearby Onaga, KS. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Education from Kansas State in 1986. From 1986-1991, he taught business courses at Seaman HS. While there, he assisted boys' basketball and coached track. In spring of 1991, WR hired Bill to teach business and to be the Head Girls' Basketball Coach. During his tenure, he also became the Business Department Chair, started the FBLA chapter at WR, and planned and developed the school's first bank. He was an assistant softball and football coach. In 1993 Bill earned his Master's Degree in Education Administration. For 18 years ('91-2009), Annan developed a consistently strong girls' basketball program. His 303-109 career record spans nearly two decades of dominance in both 6A and Centennial League basketball. The Lady Blues won 3 State titles ('96,'99, 2009), were runners-up in '98 and 2004, and 3rd place in 2000. WR won 11 Centennial League titles and made 9 State Tournament appearances. His teams reached the 20 win plateau 6 times including a best 24 - 1 twice in '98 and 2004. Bill is a 3-time Kansas Basketball Coaches' Association Coach of the Year. Seven times he was chosen Centennial League Basketball Coach of the Year. The Capital-Journal selected him City Coach of the Year 5 times and State Coach of the Year twice. In '99 he was named the Kansas Coaches' Association Coach of the year. Numerous players went on to play collegiately, but more importantly, many more have degrees and are successes in their chosen professions. Former WR AD, Chris Ridley said, "When we hired Bill in 1991, we interviewed one person – him. It was that evident that he could be an impact kind of coach. Most importantly, he instilled a work ethic in the athletes. He became one of the most respected coaches and staff members WR has known." In 2009, Annan joined Oklahoma State Women's Basketball program as Director of Player Development, and since has become the Associate Head Coach. Last season, OSU was ranked 21st and made it to the Sweet 16. During Annan's 5 seasons at OSU, they have won 110 games and made 3 NCAA Tournament appearances. Bill and Marcia reside in Stillwater, Okla. They have two children who graduated from WR: Trent (2009) and Grant (2011).

Taiju Takahashi

After graduating from WR High School in 1987, Taiju Takahashi earned his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Kansas in 1991. Tai began his career in television locally, working both at WIBW and KTKA as a reporter. In '93, he was promoted to Producer/Night News Manager at KTKA. From 1994-2004, Tai held producer positions in Wichita, KS; Jacksonville, FL; and Atlanta, GA. During that time, he also held Executive Producer positions in Seattle, WA; Jacksonville; and Atlanta. In 2004, Tai went to WTVQ station in Lexington, Kentucky as the Director of News. While there, his leadership helped launch an aggressive online effort that transformed the staff into multi-platform journalists. From 2009 to present, Tai has been Director of News at WAND in Decatur, Illinois. Through aggressive, innovative planning and execution under his leadership, WAND went from the #3 rated station in Decatur to the #1 rated in key time slots. Tai started the first investigative journalism unit in central Illinois, crafted and implemented a 3-screen strategy, and launched innovative community-centric programs and franchises such as "Save Our Schools," "Dateline Central Illinois," and "Sports Challenge." Takahashi is one of the first Asian Americans to be named Director of News for a local TV station. His teams have won 17 Emmy awards, 8 regional, and 2 National Edward R. Murrow Awards. Tai has won several individual awards as well. In 2011, he earned his Master of Arts/Education degree from Argosy University in Phoenix, AZ which focused on leadership, coaching, and teaching. He applies many of the skills he learned to teaching young journalists. A colleague said this about Taiju, "Passionate individuals are unmistakable. We all know the word 'legacy' can be thrown around like none other, and the meaning of it can be diluted; however, this is not one of those cases. Taiju continues to develop a lasting impression – a legacy – that will be felt in this business for years to come." Tai's community involvement is broad – from volunteering at the Good Samaritan Inn, a local soup kitchen, to serving on the Board of the Mid-Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross. He is also a member of Knights of Columbus and volunteered as math tutor and for Habitat for Humanity. He is a member of the Illinois Broadcasters Association and a Career Mentor for aspiring and current Journalists. Takahashi and his wife, Lori, have one daughter, Alana (19).