Hughes, a 2008 graduate of Allegheny College, returned to her alma mater as head women's lacrosse coach in May 2013.
In 2017, Hughes led the Gators to their second straight NCAC Championships appearance, compiling a 9-6 overall record and a 5-3 mark in NCAC play. Four players earned All-NCAC honors, including Jessie Thiessen, who was named the NCAC Midfielder of the Year. Thiessen, along with Shelby Piper and Laurence Busque also earned spots on the IWLCA All-Region team. During the season, Piper netted her 100th career goal while Alexa Maloney tallied her 100th career point.
Hughes guided Allegheny to its second NCAC Tournament in three seasons with a 9-9 overall record and a 5-3 mark in league play. The Gators tied a program record with seven players being named to All-NCAC teams, including senior McKenzie Bell and junior Jessie Thiessen, who each also gathered Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) All-Great Lakes Region First Team accolades. On Mar. 23 against St. Lawrence, Bell broke the program record for career points with her 301st.
In 2015, the Gators saw three players earn All-NCAC accolades with Kelsey Rodgers and McKenzie Bell making the Second Team. Hughes saw her team succeed in the classroom as three student-athletes were named to the 2014-15 NCAC Academic Honor Roll while the team as a whole garnered IWLCA Honor Roll recognition, marking the eighth consecutive year Allegheny has achieved that as a program.
During her first year on the sidelines for the Gators, Hughes led the squad on the most historic season in program history. Finishing the 2014 campaign with a program-best 15-2 mark, Hughes led Allegheny to a 10-0 start, the best record in program history while mentoring the Gators to seven conference victories, the highest total for the Allegheny lacrosse program.
Under her tutelage, seven student-athletes were named to the All-North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) team, including a program-best four All-NCAC First Team selections. Carly Minsterman ’14, Kelsey Rodgers ’15, McKenzie Bell ’16 and Kaelin Clogan ’17 each earned first team plaudits, as Bell also won the national assists per game title with 4.63 assists per game. In addition, Minsterman, Bell and Clogan additionally earned Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches’ Association (IWLCA) All-Great Lakes Region honors, with Bell and Minsterman earning first team honors to compliment Clogan’s second team designation.
The 2014 Gators averaged 15.47 goals per game, finishing the year ranked 16th in the nation. Finishing the season with the highest win percentage in the NCAC, the Gators ranked second in the conference in scoring defense (9.29) and win margin (6.18), while Clogan ended the campaign with a 9.99 goals against average, the second highest total in the conference.
Prior to her arrival in Meadville, Hughes spent three seasons as head coach at St. Michael's (Vermont), and led the 2013 Purple Knights, a member of the Northeast-10 Conference, to the program's highest win total since 2008. In 2012, the Purple Knights finished eighth in the nation with 170 caused turnovers, a single-season program record.
Prior to taking the helm at Saint Michael's College, Hughes served as an assistant for Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont for the 2010 season. Hughes began her coaching career during the 2009 season as an assistant coach at Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y.
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 to 2013, 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 to 2013.
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 (IWLCA) All-Region teams, earning second team selections in 2005 and 2006. In addition, Hughes earned All-North Coast Athletic Conference First Team plaudits in 2005, 2006 and 2007, 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 and earning an All-NCAC honorable mention selection as a junior.