Kathryn Gleason will become Northern Kentucky University's fifth softball head coach in the program's history, Director of Athletics Ken Bothof announced on Monday.
Gleason, who has 18 years of coaching experience, comes to NKU from her first head coaching position at Boston University, where she compiled a 74-74-1 record over three seasons. Gleason led Boston University to a 36-11 finish and a Patriot League championship in 2014, advancing to the NCAA tournament and posting an 8-3 victory over Louisville. Last spring, the Terriers finished 17-27 overall and 7-11 in the Patriot League.
"We are excited to have Coach Gleason join Norse Nation," said Bothof. "Her experience with Division I softball programs, recent success at Boston University and her involvement at the national level in fastpitch softball made her a great fit to lead our softball program. It is clear she embraces our commitment to academics and student-athlete well-being."
"I'd like to thank Ken Bothof and Associate Athletics Director Chris Hafling for this opportunity to lead NKU softball into the Horizon League and complete the transition into Division I," added Gleason. "I'm excited about where we can take Norse softball in the future and continue the tradition of success here."
During her time with the Terriers, three players received National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Region players, the 2013 America East Player of the Year, the 2014 Patriot League Rookie of the Year and one CoSIDA second-team Academic All-America selection.
Gleason served as the associate head coach at the University of Massachusetts, where she spent two stints as an assistant, from 2010-12 and helped guide the Minutewomen to the 2012 Atlantic 10 championship and an NCAA tournament berth. In between her two runs at UMass, with the first coming 1996-2000, she spent four seasons with Purdue University (2001-04) and Michigan State (2005-10).
Gleason has made four trips to the Women's College World Series, twice as a student-athlete at the University of Michigan and twice as an assistant during her first stint with UMass. She received her bachelor's degree in sports management and communications from Michigan in 1996, where she was a member of the 1993, '95 and '96 Big Ten regular-season championship teams and played in the Women's College World Series in each of her final two seasons of eligibility.
In addition to on-field success, Gleason's teams have excelled in the classroom. During her six semesters at Boston University, her team posted a grade point average of 3.0 or higher each semester.
Gleason went on to earn a master's degree in sport management from UMass, and she is active in the NFCA, serving as Third Vice President this past season. She was inducted into the Marian Catholic High School Hall of Fame as the 2012 induction class' Athlete of the Year, and she was also voted into the East Suburban Catholic Conference High School Hall of Fame in March 2008.