Photos from the Terriers' 10-5 victory over Bucknell in the 2014 Patriot League Title Game. Credit: Justin Lafleur
Kathryn Gleason, a 16-year coaching veteran with a combined four appearances in the Women's College World Series as a player and assistant, returns for her second season as the head coach of the Boston University softball team.
In her first season, the Terriers faced multiple injuries, including the loss of the 2012 America East Pitcher of the Year, but still went 21-26-1. Highlights included wins over two 2013 NCAA tournament participants, Southern Conference champion Georgia Southern and Big Sky champion Portland State. BU also claimed a two-game sweep over ACC member Boston College.
A total of five Terriers earned All-Conference honors with Jayme Mask being named 2013 America East Player of the Year. Under Gleason, the outfielder increased her hitting average by 32 points to a league-high .399 and also tied a school record with 37 stolen bases, topping her previous high by 12. Mask also earned ECAC Division I All-Star and NFCA All-Northeast Region First Team accolades.
Accepting her first head coaching position at BU, Gleason was already quite familiar with the Terriers, having spent a combined six seasons at the University of Massachusetts, including the last two as associate head coach. Working primarily with the Minutewomen's infielders, she helped lead the team to the 2012 Atlantic 10 Championship and a 38-13 overall record after finishing 29-19 in 2011.
Gleason previously served as an assistant coach with the Minutewomen from 1996-2000, helping lead the team to two Women's College World Series appearances. Before rejoining UMass in 2010, she coached for six years at Michigan State, serving the last five years as associate head coach. She primarily worked with the infield, coaching six All-Big Ten and four All-Region honorees, along with guiding the Spartans to four straight Big Ten Tournament berths. She served as the program's recruiting coordinator and assistant director of all camps and clinics. Gleason was also the Spartans' liaison for the Friends of Jaclyn program.
Joining the Spartans' staff in June of 2004, Gleason moved to State following a three-year stint as an assistant coach at Purdue University (2001-2004) and four years as an assistant coach at UMass (1996-2000).
While working with the Boilermakers, Gleason assisted with team academics, equipment, promotions, tournaments, facilities, recruiting and strength & conditioning. On game days, she supervised and directed the outfield and assisted with the offense. Additionally, she worked with Purdue's softball camps and clinics.
During her first stint at UMass, Gleason helped lead the Minutewomen to four Atlantic 10 regular season conference titles and four A-10 Championships. They made four appearances in the NCAAs, including winning the 1997 and 1998 NCAA Regional Championships, as well as advancing to the Women's College World Series both years.
Gleason earned her bachelor's degree in sport management and communications from the University of Michigan in 1996. She was a member of the 1993, `95 and `96 Big Ten regular season championship teams, the `95 and `96 Big Ten Tournament Championship teams, and played in the `95 and `96 Women's College World Series while serving as co-captain of the `96 team.
Holding a master's degree in sport management from UMass, Gleason is heavily involved with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), currently serving as first vice president after previously working as the second vice president and assistant coach representative for the association.
A native of Country Club Hills, Ill., she was inducted into the Marian Catholic High School Hall of Fame as "Athlete of the Year" in the 2002 induction class. Gleason was also inducted into the East Suburban Catholic Conference High School Hall of Fame in March 2008.