Gayle Hatch's contributions to Olympic-style weightlifting and strength training are quite considerable. He has been active as a weightlifting and strength coach for more than thirty years. His club, the Gayle Hatch Weightlifting Team, has won more than forty men's Junior, Senior, and Masters national championships. Coach Hatch served as Head Coach of the men's 2004 USA Olympic Weightlifting Team that competed in Athens, Greece, the home of the modern Olympics. Coach Hatch has also had athletes make three other United States Olympic Teams, and he has had more than fifty athletes selected to other U.S. international teams. Some of the outstanding lifters coming out of the Gayle Hatch program include Olympians Bret Brian and Tommy Calandro, and Junior American record holders Blair Lobrano, Buster Bourgeois, Brandon Baker and Matt Bruce, as well as World Masters Champions Walt Imahara and Chuck Meole.
The 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. Coach Hatch is considered one of the pioneers of Olympic-style strength training in this country. In his career, 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, Miami and Tennessee. All those football teams won national championships. LSU and Miami baseball teams also won national championships using the Hatch System. LSU's mens and womens 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 and N. F. L. first round draft pick, Anthony McFarland..
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 Spectrum Fitness Center 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 stared in and won MVP awards in basketball, football and track. He set numberous school and state records and was named All-State and Catholic All-America in basketball He is a member of the CHS Grizzly Greats 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. At Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana he starred in basketball and set numerous school records some of which still stand today. Hatch is a member of the Graduate "N" Club Hall of Fame, Northwestern's highest athletic honor. In 2002, Dr. Randall Webb, President of Northwestern State University, presented Hatch the school's distinguished award , The Nth Degree. In 2004, Coach 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. Also Dale Brown established a basketball scholarship in the name of Gayle Hatch. The funding will come from the Dale Brown Foundation. Hatch who is part Delaware Indian 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 Hall 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.
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 1958 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.