BOSTON -- Kathryn Gleason, a 15-year coaching veteran with a combined four appearances in the Women’s College World Series as a player and assistant, has been named the sixth Boston University head coach.

“After an extensive search, we’re excited to welcome Kathryn to the BU family,” Lynch said. “She brings a wealth of experience to the program having competed at the highest level as a player and coach with national championships on the line. After spending time with her, I’m confident she’s the right choice to help BU softball take the next step.”

Accepting her first head coaching position, Gleason is quite familiar with the reigning America East champion Terriers, having spent a combined six seasons at Massachusetts, including the last two as associate head coach. Working primarily with the UMass infielders, she helped lead the team to the 2012 Atlantic 10 championship and a 38-13 overall record after finishing 29-19 in 2011.

“I am honored to be named the next Boston University Head Softball Coach,” Gleason said. “I am excited to lead this team into the next era of Terrier softball and build upon the rich success and tradition of the program. I want to thank Mike Lynch, [Associate Athletic Director] Alan Weinberger and [Deputy Director] Drew Marrochello for all their work during the interview process.

“I am truly grateful for this opportunity and look forward to representing Boston University and the Boston University Athletic Department on and off the field,” she added. “I am anxious to meet the team, as well as getting to know the BU alumni and the BU community. It is with great anticipation that we begin the work to accomplish our goals for the 2012-2013 season.”

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 (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 UMass 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 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.

She inherits a squad that returns 14 players from last year’s 41-16 team that earned its first No. 3 seed in the NCAA regionals and claimed the program’s fourth NCAA victory in its last three postseason appearances (2009, 2010, 2012).