MEADVILLE, Pa. -- Allegheny director of athletics and recreation Portia Hoeg has announced the hiring of 2008 Allegheny graduate Ashley Hughes to the post of head coach.

Hughes, a four-year member of both the Allegheny women's lacrosse and soccer programs during her time as a student-athlete, returns to Meadville after a three-year stint as head coach at Saint Michael's.

A member of the Northeast-10 Conference, Hughes led the 2013 Purple Knights to the program's highest win total since 2008, ushering the squad to its highest conference win total in three seasons.  In 2012, the Purple Knights finished eighth in the nation with 170 caused turnovers, a single-season program record.

"I am extremely pleased to have Ashley return to Allegheny and take the reins of our women's lacrosse program," Hoeg said. "As an alumna, her experience as a standout two-sport student-athlete will bring wonderful leadership to our program. Ashley has experience in the holistic development of student-athletes, which is in alignment with our Combinations 2020 strategic plan and departmental philosophy. Ashley inherits a young and talented group of athletes and I am confident she will lead the team to success on and off the playing field."

Prior to taking the helm at Saint Michael's, Hughes served as an assistant for Norwich for the 2010 season. Hughes began her coaching career during the 2009 season as an assistant coach at Hartwick.

In addition to her experience on the sidelines, Hughes has also been instrumental in the implementation of several successful camps and clubs. While serving as the U-17 and U-20 Vermont Far Post Soccer Club coach from 2010-13, Hughes also served as the director of the Saint Michael's College Total Knights Sports Camp in 2013 in addition to directing the Saint Michael's College Lacrosse Camp from 2011-13.

"Thank you to Portia Hoeg and the rest of the hiring committee for the opportunity to return back to Meadville as an Allegheny Gator," Hughes said, the eighth coach in Gator lacrosse history. 

"The Gator squad has done very well in the last couple of seasons and I am ecstatic to continue to further progress the Allegheny lacrosse program. With such a strong returning group and a large incoming class, the program has great opportunities in the very near future and I could not be more thrilled to be leading the charge. I cannot wait to get to work with the student-athletes and continue to build the future of Allegheny lacrosse."

While playing for the Blue and Gold, Hughes cemented herself as one of the top scorers in program history, leaving Allegheny as the career leader in goals (125), assists (54) and points (179), effectively ushering in an era of prominent scorers for the women's lacrosse program. Hughes currently ranks second on the all-time career assist list and is third in goals and points.

During her time for the Gators, Hughes was named to a pair of Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches' Association All-Region teams, earning second-team selections in 2005 and '06. In addition, Hughes earned All-North Coast Athletic Conference First Team plaudits in 2005, '06 and '07, adding a second-team notation in her senior year.  Hughes was also named to two post-season NCAC All-Tournament teams.

A two-sport athlete, Hughes was also a four-year member of the Allegheny women's soccer program, finishing her career with 20 goals and three assists for the Gators, earning an All-NCAC honorable mention selection as a junior. She is a native of Wexford, Penn., and graduate of North Allegheny High School.