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Bill "Pops" Taylor
The Centralia Sports Hall of Fame
2012 VIP Award Winner


   After seeing his first Orphan basketball game in 1954 Bill Taylor was hooked on Centralia High School basketball.  There isn't anyone who wants to see Centralia win more than he does.

   While he can be very opinionated about his first love of Centralia basketball, he is also very appreciative of opposing teams.  He is always one to congratulate or wish good luck to opposing coaches, players and cheerleaders during his most favorite time of year, the Centralia Holiday Tournament.

   Bill has likely seen as many basketball games in Illinois as anyone in the state.  In 1985 he attended an amazing 165 games!  He has seen every IHSA boys' state championship games either in person or on TV since 1957.

   After being the first graduate from Centralia City Schools with perfect attendance, he became a football and baseball player in high school.  Two of his baseball teams, 1961 and 1962,have been inducted into the Centralia Sports Hall of Fame (1992 and 2002 inductees).  His grand slam home run in the sectional championship game propelled the Orphans to the school's first IHSA Elite Eight baseball appearance in 1962.

   Taylor also has a special interest in the CHS Annie's softball program.  He was an assistant coach from 1986 through 1990.  The 1988 Annies made it all the way to the Elite Eight round of the IHSA state tournament with a 21-6 record.  This team has also been inducted into the Centralia Sports Hall of Fame (2007 inductee).

   Taylor has served on the Centralia Sports Hall of Fame committee since 2000.

   In 2012 Bill was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as a friend of basketball, becoming the 7th Centralian so honored.

   Bill has been married to Wanda for 44 years and she too is an avid Orphan fan.




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