By RICK PETERSON
Washburn Rural Hall of Famer Bill Annan admits there was some uneasines this spring as he pondered where the next step in his long career was going to take him.
But things couldn't have worked out a whole lot better for the veteran women's basketball coach, who was named an assistant coach at Oral Roberts University on Wednesday after a 13-year stint at Oklahoma State.
Oral Roberts is located in Tulsa, Okla., where Bill and Marcia Annan's sons, Trent and Grant, both live and is just 70 miles from Stillwater, making Annan's move more like a hop.
"Both boys are in Tulsa and they're pretty grounded,'' Annan said. "Both are doing well professionally and they're going to be there, they aren't going anywhere. Marcia and I have talked a long time about and that's probably where we wanted to end up and this was absolutely the best way to get there.
"It was just the right time and the right place and everything kind of connected.''
Annan posted a career record of 303-109 at Washburn Rural, leading the Lady Blues to Class 6A state titles in 1996, 1999 and 2009 before moving on to Oklahoma State in 2009.
Annan's Rural teams won 11 Centennial League titles in 18 years and made nine state tournament appearances.
Annan is a three-time Kansas Basketball Coaches Association coach of the year as well as a seven-time pick for conference coach of the year.
He was named the city coach of the year five times, the state coach of the year twice and was named the Kansas Coaches Association coach of the year in 1999.
He began his coaching career in 1986 at Seaman where he served five seasons as an assistant for the Vikings' boys team.
Annan served as Oklahoma State's associate head coach for the past nine seasons. Prior to that Annan was the program's assistant coach for two seasons as well as director of player development when he began his stint in 2009.
During his time at OSU, the Cowgirls made six NCAA tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16 run in 2014, and captured the program's first WNIT title in 2012.
From 2013-16, the Cowgirls made four straight season NCAA tournament appearances.
But when OSU parted ways with Cowgirls head coach Jim Littell following the 2021-2022 season, Annan was left looking for the best opportunity for himself and his family.
He thinks he found that opportunity with Kelsi Musick, who took over as Oral Roberts' head coach earlier this spring.
"There were some offers out there, but how close to you want to stay to home and stay around your own family?'' Annan said. "I still have brothers in Wamego, I've got a sister in Kansas City, got a sister in Russell, and have two sisters in Omaha,'' Annan said. "As time goes on you sometimes only get together for weddings and funerals and I wouldn't mind getting together a little bit more for other things.''
Musick announced Annan's appointment on Wednesday.
"We are so excited to have coach Annan join our staff," Musick said. "He brings experience and connections which will be a huge asset as we take this program to the next level. He is great at what he does and brings quality knowledge and experience to our Golden Eagle family."
Although Annan was happy in Stillwater, he said he's excited to get a new start with Musick and the Oral Roberts program.
"The concern you have is you grow comfortable with where you are,'' Annan said. "I would have been fine just finishing my career with Oklahoma State but when things happened (with Littell's departure) that kind of causes you to step outside of your comfort zone and think about who else you can impact.
"You're still dealing with student-athletes and you're still trying to help them reach their goals, you're still trying to help the head coach reach his or her goals because that's what you do as an assistant. For me it's kind of one of those situations where Oral Roberts gives you the same platform, just in a different location.''
Annan received his bachelor's in business education from Kansas State in 1986 before receiving his master's in educational administration from Kansas State in 1993.