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Patty Vavra was an outstanding athlete and college coach. Vavra excelled as a sprinter, hurdler, and basketball player at Memorial High School. She ran track and played basketball at Missouri Southern from 1976-1980. Blessed with a good vertical jump, Vavra was Sothern’s leading rebounder during her career and is listed in the women’s basketball record book for single-season and career rebounding. 

A highlight of her coaching career at Missouri Southern was watching her athletes win the MIAA cross-country championship in 1998. Vavra was named MIAA Cross-Country Coach of the Year. During her career, she coached two cross-country All-Americans and in track she coached one national champion. 

She was inducted into the Missouri Southern Hall of Fame in 1993. Vavra is also a member of the Missouri Southern American Softball Association Hall of Fame.