Ishee Named Southeast Women’s Basketball Coach

Photo of John Ishee

John Ishee coaches the Redhawks women’s basketball team at the 2007 OVC championship game.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., March 5, 2007 — John Ishee, acting head women’s basketball coach at Southeast Missouri State University, was named head women’s coach today at a news conference at the Show Me Center.

Ishee has received a three-year contract which is effective today and will run through April 30, 2010.

Ishee led the Redhawks women’s basketball team to its second consecutive O’Reilly Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Tournament championship Saturday afternoon at the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville, Tenn. He became acting head coach on Nov. 9.

Today’s announcement preceded a victory celebration at the Show Me Center honoring the women’s basketball team that has earned an NCAA Tournament berth for a second straight year. The Redhawks women’s basketball team defeated Murray State 62-60 on Saturday.

On Friday, Ishee was named OVC Coach of the Year after guiding the Redhawks to their second consecutive OVC regular-season championship with a school record-tying 16-4 conference record this season with an overall mark of 24-7. Prior to the season, Southeast was picked to finish fifth in the preseason conference poll. Ishee becomes the second Southeast head coach in program history to win the award, joining Ed Arnzen who captured the honor during the 1998-1999 season.

“John Ishee assumed control of our women’s basketball program under very trying circumstances,” said Don Kaverman, Southeast director of Athletics. “With only a couple of days before the first regular season game, he was asked to serve as acting head coach. With support from his staff and the outstanding performance of the team, we were able to win both the regular season  and OVC tournament championships.  John was recognized by his peers as OVC Coach of the Year, and he has earned our support for being named head coach of the Redhawks Women’s Basketball team.  I am confident he will do a great job and will work hard to continue to win championships.  I know he can count on the support of our outstanding Southeast Boosters and fans who have really made a difference in our season.” Ishee rejoined the Southeast coaching staff last summer after coaching the last three years in New Mexico. He was a volunteer assistant at Southeast in 2002-2003. During the 2002-2003 season, Ishee helped the team to a 19-11 record, including an 11-5 record in Ohio Valley Conference play. That season the team made its first appearance in the OVC Tournament finals before falling to Austin Peay in the championship game.

Ishee, a 19-year veteran at the collegiate level, came to Southeast from New Mexico Highlands University, an NCAA Division II institution, where he served as head coach of the Cowgirls’ basketball team.

During the 2001-2002 season, he finished with a 22-10 record at the helm of the women’s basketball program at Life University in Georgia. He guided the Runnin’ Eagles to a No. 18 ranking and a Sweet 16 appearance in the NAIA Division I National Tournament before Life University dropped collegiate athletics late that summer, which led Ishee to his first stint at Southeast.

After leaving Southeast, Ishee moved on to New Mexico State University, where he served as the team’s top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for two seasons. During the 2003-2004 season, he helped lead the Aggies to the program’s first and only Sun Belt Conference Tournament Semifinal appearance. That team also earned the program’s only victory against a top-25 nationally ranked opponent. His 2004-2005 recruiting class was rated one of the top 50 in the nation by the All-Star Girls Basketball Report.

Prior to his head coaching stint at Life University, he served as an assistant at Saint Louis University for one season and spent three seasons at Ole Miss as the team’s recruiting coordinator. During his stint at Ole Miss, the team made the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) in 2000.

During the 1996-1997 season, the Gulfport, Miss., native was with McNeese State University as the team’s associate head coach. That year, the team made it to the Southland Conference Semifinals with a record of 17-9. It was the ninth-best turnaround in the NCAA that season.

In 1995, he was an assistant coach at the University of the Pacific, that made an appearance at the Big West Conference Tournament championship game.

From 1991 thru 1994, he served as an assistant coach at his alma mater Southern Mississippi. Those teams made two NCAA Tournament appearances including a Sweet 16 appearance. Ishee recruited and helped lead the squad to a school-best national ranking and finish with a record of 26-5.  

He served as a graduate assistant coach for the Southern Mississippi men’s team from 1989 thru 1991, assisting the team to a 1990 NCAA Men’s Tournament appearance.

From 1987-1989, he served as the head coach for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams at Prentiss High School in Prentiss, Miss. There, he captured two division championships and two state playoff berths while compiling a combined record of 77-40 at the prep level.

Ishee, the son of John and Opal Ishee, received both his bachelor of science and master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Southern Mississippi.