Since his return to Cape Girardeau in 2006, no coach in program history has had as much success as John Ishee over the course of the last four seasons.
The Redhawks have won two Ohio Valley Conference Championships, advanced to the postseason twice and secured the program's first NCAA Women's Tournament berth.
Since taking over the program as acting head coach on Nov. 9, 2006, only to be later named the sixth head coach in Southeast's history on March 5, 2007, Ishee has compiled a record of 69-53. That mark and his .565 winning percentage, rank among the best in the OVC during that span and the best start of a coaching career by any Redhawk coach in the program's history.
Last season, Ishee's team finished with a 7-21 record with the nation's fourth youngest team. That team showed much promise however, starting the season 2-0 including a 73-63 home win over a highly touted Southern Miss team. That win ranks as one of the top victories for the program at the Show Me Center.
The Redhawks played hard all season despite injuries to their top players. Ishee continued to teach and mold his players into a team that not only represented the University and program well, but the game of basketball. For those efforts the team was presented the OVC's Team Sportsmanship Award for women's basketball, the first time the program has received the prestigious honor.
The year before, Ishee led the Redhawks to their 12th-straight OVC Tournament appearance after the team finished 15-15. He led Southeast through one of its toughest non-conference schedules in school history. The 2008-09 Redhawks found even more success in conference play, where they finished 10-8. Among the season's highlights were a 16-game OVC road game winning streak -- the nation's second longest streak at the time -- and having two players reach the 1,000-point milestone.
During the 2007-08 season, Ishee led the Redhawks to an overall record of 23-9 and 17-3 mark in the OVC to clinch Southeast's secondstraight regular-season conference title. Those 17 conference wins set a new OVC record for league victories in a season. The Redhawks also went undefeated in OVC road games (10-0), the first time in school history and the first time a team has accomplished that feat in the league since 2002. Southeast capped the season with an automatic berth to the Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT), the program's first appearance at that event.
In 2006-07, Ishee guided the Redhawks to their best single-season record (24-8) in the since moving up to compete in NCAA Division I. Southeast earned their first-ever outright OVC regular-season crown. The Redhawks went on to win the OVC Tournament, earning them an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. Ishee was named the 2007 OVC Coach of the Year, for his efforts, while Lachelle Lyles and Missy Whitney garnered All-OVC honors. In addition, Southeast ranked first among both OVC and nationally in several categories, including rebounding margin (1st/9th) and defensive field goal percentage (1st/28th).
Ishee, a 22-year veteran at the collegiate level, came to Southeast from New Mexico Highlands University, an NCAA Division II institution. He served as head coach of the Cowgirls' basketball team during the 2005-06 season.
Prior to that, he spent the 2001-02 season at the helm of the women's basketball program at Life University in Georgia. That year, the Runnin' Eagles went 22-10, ranked 18th in the nation and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NAIA Division I National Tournament.
After Life University discontinued their intercollegiate athletics that summer, Ishee came to Southeast as a volunteer assistant coach in 2002-03.
Ishee then moved on to New Mexico State, where he worked as the team's top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for two seasons.
During the 2003-04 campaign, he helped lead the Aggies to their first and only Sun Belt Conference Tournament semifinal appearance. That team also earned the program's only victory against a Top-25 opponent. Additionally, his 2004-05 recruiting class was rated one of the Top-50 in the nation by the All-Star Girls Basketball Report.
Ishee also held assistant coaching positions at Saint Louis University (2000-01), Ole Miss (1997-2000), McNeese State (1996-97), Pacific (1995-96) and Southern Mississippi (Asst., 1991-94; Men's Graduate Asst., 1989-91).
At Ole Miss, Ishee helped the Lady Rebels clinch a WNIT berth in 2000.
At McNeese State, he was a part of one of the best turnarounds in the NCAA during the 1996-97 season. Ishee, the team's Associate Head Coach, helped lead the Cowgirls to the Southland Conference Tournament semifinals, as the team finished 17-9 overall.
From 1991-94, he served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Southern Mississippi. Ishee helped coach the Golden Eagles to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and one Sweet 16 berth (1993-94).
Ishee started his college coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Southern Miss men's team (1989-91). The Golden Eagles made the 1990 NCAA Tournament with Ishee as a member of that staff.
Ishee was also head coach of both the men's and women's basketball teams at Prentiss High School (Prentiss, Miss.) from 1987-89. He compiled a 77-40 record, won two division championships and advanced to the state playoffs twice at the prep level.
Ishee received both his Bachelor's of Science and Master's Degree in Educational Administration from Southern Mississippi. He is the son of John and Opal Ishee, and resides in Cape Girardeau.