Gayle Hatch

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Gayle Hatch (born May 7, 1939) is a USA Weightlifting Senior U.S. International Coach.[1] He served as Head Coach of the men’s 2004 USA Olympic Weightlifting Team in Athens, Greece. Additionally, Hatch is a member of the USA Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame, the USA Weightlifting Hall of Fame and the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame.[2]

The Gayle Hatch Weightlifting Team has won 49 USA Weightlifting National Championships. Gayle Hatch athletes have competed in 1984, 1988 and 1992 US Olympic Weightlifting Teams and twelve USA World Teams. Some of the distinguished lifters include Olympian and World Team Members Bret Brian, Tommy Calandro, Blair Lobrano, and Matt Bruce.[3]

Gayle Hatch and Mel Didier at Baton Rouge’s Catholic High School[edit]

Coach Hatch and Coach Mel Didier were honored at a recent[when?] Catholic High School basketball game. Mel Didier was a Coach at Catholic High School while Hatch played as a freshman. He was the only freshman in the district playing varsity ball. In 1957, Hatch's senior year, Catholic High won the District Championship. He set a record in the state play-off with a double/double 35.5 points and 22.5 rebounds per game in the top classification, a records that has stood for 54 years. Hatch's 37 points and 24 rebounds in the state semi-final game is still the best double/double in the LHSAA’s top classification. This high school play set the foundation for a record setting college career. At Northwestern State University on December 12, 1961, Hatch scored 44 points and had 18 rebounds against Kentucky Wesleyan. In that performance, he scored 18 of 21 field goal attempts (.857) which is a state college record for 20 attempts or more. It is not only a state record but also ranks as one of college basketball’s all-time best. Mel Didier was a big part in helping Coach Hatch achieve his successes.[4]

Gayle Hatch Honored with the Alvin Roy Award[edit]

The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) presented Hatch with the Alvin Roy Award for Career Achievement on July 17th, 2015 in Orlando, Florida. He received the award for his achievements throughout his career of producing champion athletes in Olympic Weightlifting and Football. Alvin Roy was a mentor of Hatch, who worked with him to develop numerous athletes including Hall of Famers such as Billy Cannon, Jimmy Taylor[disambiguation needed], and Bob Pettit. "As a young, gangly colt back in the 50s, I started working with Alvin along with such greats as Billy Cannon, Jimmy Taylor and Bob Pettit," said Coach Hatch.[5]

When Alvin Roy was retiring from operating the strength program, Coach Hatch continued the legacy and expanded the Olympic Weightlifting program. “When Alvin got ready to sell his club in 1979, he told the group of owners that if they wanted to keep the strength and conditioning program going, then they should talk to Gayle Hatch,” Hatch, a member of the USA Weightlifting Hall of Fame and head coach of USA Weightlifting Team at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, said. “They talked to me, and I ended up becoming the manager and strength coach, and I also added Olympic weightlifting to the program, which was the first Olympic-style weightlifting program in a commercial gym.”[6]

Hatch has mentored many other protege strength and conditioning coaches. Hatch protégés were Head Strength and Conditioning Coaches of more than half of the 15 BCS National Championships. "Out of 15 years of the BCS, I had my proteges win eight national championships," said Coach Hatch.


  1. ^ "American Indian Hall of Fame". 2007 American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame". 2010 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "USA Strength Coaches Hall Of Fame". 2004, USA Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  4. ^ Kennedy, Kris (10 January 2012). "Catholic High School Bear Facts II". Bear Facts II. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
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