2017 Woman of Achievement Nominee
Rekha Patterson is the Head Coach of the Southeast Missouri State University women’s
basketball team. Throughout the course of her coaching career, Patterson has worked with teams
who have won national championships, reached the Final Four and the Sweet 16; and, since
2015, Patterson has guided the Redhawks to back-to- back Ohio Valley Conference (OVC)
Patterson believes in service to her community. She is a member of the Cape Girardeau Public
Library Board of Trustees and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Leadership Board. She
speaks on a regular basis to many civic groups and was the keynote speaker for the 2016
Women’s Prayer Breakfast. Patterson was the Audience Choice Winner in the 2017 Dancing
with the Cape Stars which raised money for a local non-profit recovery center. Sharing her
belief in community service with her players has paid dividends in the form of over 700 hours of
service to our community by members of the SEMO women’s basketball team.
Patterson’s concern for her players extends beyond basketball. She believes that her purpose in
life is to develop and instill confidence in the lives of young women and she feels blessed to be
part of the lives of her players. The young women who play for Patterson are more than student-
athletes—they are family; and the game of basketball is merely a platform from which Patterson
strives to impact and empower her players for life beyond basketball. She encourages players to
stay committed even on days when they don’t feel like it, to choose to love one another and to
treat everyone with respect and kindness. Patterson wants each of her players to know that if they
believe in themselves and work extremely hard, they can achieve whatever they want in life.
With their coach as a living example that these attributes pay off in big ways Patterson’s players
can feel confident in the advice she dispenses.