Gayle Hatch, Senior U.S. International Coach
contributions to Olympic-style weightlifting and strength training are quite
considerable. He has been active as a weightlifting and strength &
conditioning coach for more than thirty-five years. Among Hatch's many
accomplishments are memberships in both the USA Weightlifting and USA Strength
and Conditioning Coaches Halls of Fame and he served as Head Coach
of the men's 2004 USA Olympic Weightlifting Team that
competed in Athens, Greece,
the home of the modern Olympics. Only one other Louisianian
has ever been an Olympic Head Coach - Skip Bertman,
1996 US Olympic Head Coach for baseball. Hatch's club, the Gayle Hatch
Weightlifting Team, has a tradition rich program that has won 54 USA Men's
Weightlifting National Championships. Coach Hatch has also had athletes make
three United States Olympic Teams, and 12 World Teams. He has had more than 50 athletes selected to other U.S.
international teams. Some of the outstanding lifters coming out of the Gayle
Hatch program include Olympians and World Team Members, Bret Brian and Tommy Calandro, and Olympic Squad and World Team Members, Blair Lobrano and Matt Bruce, as well as World Masters Champions,
Walt Imahara and Chuck Meole.
Hatch has also had 20 athletes selected to Junior World Teams including junior
American record holders, Buster Bourgois, Brandon
contributions that Coach Hatch has made extend beyond the reach of the athletes
he has coached. Many of the current top U.S. Weightlifting coaches say they
have patterned much of what they have done after the Gayle Hatch Program
including Coach Dennis Snethen of the Wesley
Weightlifting Club, Coach Michael Cohen of Team Savannah. Coach Hatch is
considered one of the pioneers of Olympic-style strength training in this
country. He is the inventor of the "Hatch System for strength and
conditioning" and through direct contact and the ripple effect, he has
helped countless strength coaches on the professional, collegiate and high-school
levels reach a better understanding of explosive strength training for all
athletes. His philosophies were utilized in recent years by strength coaches at
LSU, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida State, Miami, USC and Tennessee.
These football teams won a total of 8 BCS National championships.
Appalachian State won two Division 1AA Football National Championships using
the Hatch System. LSU and Miami baseball teams also won national
championships using the Hatch System. LSU's men’s and women’s final
four basketball teams used the Hatch System as well. Outstanding athletes
coming out of Hatch's strength training program include Heisman Trophy
candidates Warrick Dunn, Bucky Richardson, N. F. L. first round
draft pick, Anthony McFarland as well as NBA players, Brandon Bass, Glen
Davis, Tyrus Thomas and Marcus Thorton.
Coach Hatch has won
numerous national coaching honors and is a member of the USA Weightlifting Hall
of Fame and the USA Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame.
He holds USA Weightlifting's highest certificate ranking, Senior
U.S. International Coach and is the director of USA Weightlifting's Southern
Regional Training Center, located at the US Sports Training Academy in Baton
Rouge, Louisiana. Coach Hatch is regarded as one of USA Weightlifting's strongest
leaders. In 1990 the USAW Board of Directors approved a proposal by Coach Hatch
to start out-of-competition random drug testing for both national and junior
national squad members. Hatch graduated from Baton Rouge's Catholic High School
in 1957, where he was a record-setting, MVP award winning, All State, All
American athlete excelling in basketball, football and track. In 2010
Hatch received the Legends Award at the finals of the State Basketball
Tournament. He averaged 35.5 points and 22.5 rebounds throughout the 1957 State
Basketball Playoffs setting a record double/double that still stands
today. Hatch's 37points and 24 rebounds in the State Playoff
Semi-finals game is still the best double/double in the history of Louisiana
high school basketball. He is a member of the CHS Grizzly Greats Hall of
Fame and the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame. On May 31, 2002,
Catholic High School named its new state of the art weight room the Gayle
Hatch Strength Training Center.
Out of high school Hatch signed a basketball scholarship with
Mississippi State of the SEC. He lead the freshman team to a 26 wins and 1 loss
record before moving on to Northwestern State University in Natchitoches,
Louisiana. There he starred in basketball and set numerous school records some
of which still stand today. One of those records came in a 44 point, 18 rebound
game against powerhouse KentuckyWesleyan. Hatch hit an amazing (.857) 18 out of
21 field goal attempts setting a field goal percentage record for 20 attempts
or more in a game. That still stands as a school and Louisiana state
college record and also ranks as one of college basketball's all-time
best. This state college record puts Hatch on a list with such Louisiana
great players as Pete Maravich, Bob Pettit, and
Shaquille O'Neal. Hatch is a member of the Graduate "N" Club
Hall of Fame, Northwestern's highest athletic honor.
In 2012, Hatch was named to Northwestern State University's All-Century
Basketball Team (1912-2012). Also Dale Brown established a basketball
scholarship in the name of Gayle Hatch. The funding will come from the Dale
Brown Foundation. In 2002, Dr. Randall Webb, President of Northwestern
State University, presented Hatch the school's distinguished award, The Nth
Degree. This award is presented to those whose professional
responsibilities and various other roles in making this a better world are
carries out to the Nth Degree. In 2004, Gayle Hatch was selected to
Northwestern State University's "Long Purple Line Hall of Distinction".
It is the university's most prestigious honor and recognizes former
Northwestern students whose career accomplishments have enhanced the reputation
of the university. Part Delaware Indian, Hatch, was inducted into the American
Indian Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004. He was selected in two categories:
basketball and US Olympic Weightlifting. The uniform that Coach Hatch
wore in the opening ceremonies at the 2004 Olympics Games is part of the
Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. Coach
Hatch is also a member of the National Masters
Weightlifting Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Weightlifting Hall of Fame and the
Louisiana Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Senior
Olympic Games Hall of Fame and the National Strength and Conditioning
Association Founders Club Wall of Fame. Hatch received the 2004
Professional Football Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society's Presidents
Award. The presentation was made February 25, 2005 at the NFL
Combine. In 2006 LSU's Head Basketball Coach, John Brady, presented Coach
Hatch a Final Four Ring for the role he played in the Tiger's great
season. At the end of the 2007 season, LSU hired Hatch as the Head
Strength and Conditioning Coach for the men's basketball team.
In 2008 Coach Hatch
was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Also inducted were
Louisiana Tech and NBA great, Karl Malone, NFL greats, Leonard Marshall and
Aeneas Williams and Major League baseball great, Darryl Hamilton. The selection
committee is made up of an elite panel of state sports media.
In 2009 Coach Hatch
was selected as Head Coach for the Men's USA World Team. The team competeted in the World Weightlifting Championships
held in Seoul, South Korea.
In March 2010 Gayle
Hatch received The Ledgends Award from the Louisiana
High School Athletic Association for his outstanding accomplishments in the
sport of basketball. During the 1957 State Playoffs he averaged 35 points
and 23 rebounds per game for Catholoc High
School. A record that still stands today.
On January 2, 2011
the New Orleans Saints and Peoples Health recognized Coach Gayle Hatch for his
excellence through exceptional achievements after the age of 65. The
presentation took place during the New Orleans Saints Tampa game played at the
In 2012 Hatch was
named a Louisiana Legend by Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) for his
unparalleled success in the field of weightlifting and strength training. The
event was hosted by Govenor and First Lady Bobby
In 2012 Hatch was recognized
at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indians, in a special
" Best in the World Native American
Athletes in the Olympics" which featured Jim Thorpe along with other
In 2012 Hatch was
honored to be among 39 individuals featured in the book, Louisiana
Sports Legends and Heroes-Leaving a Legacy .
In 2013 Hatch was
named "A Legend in the Field of Strength and Conditioning" by the
Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCa). In recent
years his philosophy and training system have been influential with strength
coaches at LSU, Alabama, Miami and Tennessee and Florida State resulting in 8
BCS National Championships.
Hatch who finished his collegiate career in 1962 signed a professional contract
with the Chicago Majors of the American Basketball League forerunner of the ABA
which eventually merged with the NBA. After his basketball career, he came back
to Baton Rouge and started his weightlifting and strength training program.
Alvin Roy was a
major influence on Hatch's weightlifting and strength training career. Roy had
trained Hatch as an athlete along with other noted athletes such as 1959
Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon, Green Bay Packer's Hall of Fame fullback
Jimmy Taylor, and all-time professional basketball great Bob Pettit. These,
along with many other outstanding athletes, trained with Alvin Roy at his
training center in Baton Rouge. Roy served as team manager for the winning
United States Olympic Team at the XV Olympiad in 1952 in Helsinki, Finland. He
was also professional football's first full-time
strength coach. He installed the first comprehensive, year-round strength
program for the San Diego Chargers. As a result, the Chargers went on to win
the World Championship. Over the years, Roy installed strength programs for the
Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs. After Alvin Roy's
retirement, Hatch took over the strength coaching duties at Alvin Roy's
Training Center. What Hatch did -- and what many had said couldn't be done --
was to add a successful Olympic-style weightlifting program in a commercial
gym. But Alvin Roy's words to Hatch were to prove prophetic: "Gayle,"
Alvin said, "if anyone can do it, you can."
The rest is history.
In June of 2003
both Alvin Roy and Gayle Hatch were inducted into the inaugural USA Strength
and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame.