Northwestern State University

The Daily Demon

Monday, April 09, 2007

Coach Hatch back in hoops action

Former Demon basketball star Gayle Hatch (1960-62), best known as one of America’s foremost weight training experts, has been named strength and conditioning coach of the LSU men’s basketball team.

Maybe in between directing workouts, he might give the Tigers some memories of his 44-point game, on Dec. 13, 1961 against Kentucky Wesleyan. In that performance, he sank 18 of 21 field goal attempts – an amazing 85.7 percent, still the best in school history by a player with at least 11 attempts.

"Coach Hatch," as he is universally known (and I mean universally), reached the pinnacle of his coaching career in 2004. He was named the head coach for the 2004 USA Olympic Weightlifting Team competing in Athens, Greece.

Coach Hatch is a member of several weightlifting and strength and conditioning halls of fame. He is also included in an exhibit of prominent native Americans at the Smithsonian museum in Washington.

Some of his pupils have been the strength and conditioning coaches for national champion football teams at Miami, Tennessee and LSU.

The Baton Rouge resident is a member of the NSU Graduate N Club Hall of Fame and the Long Purple Line, is a recipient of the Nth Degree and was honored with the creation of the Gayle Hatch Basketball Scholarship supporting Demon basketball. He keeps a close eye on the current-day Demons and stays in touch with head coach Mike McConathy.

Hatch has been a friend and advisor to LSU basketball coaches Dale Brown and John Brady, and received a Final Four ring for his efforts in 2006.

Brown was a catalyst for creating the NSU basketball scholarship in Coach Hatch’s name a couple of years ago. He also spearheaded a tribute dinner for Coach Hatch prior to the Athens Olympic Games.