Robert W. Hatch
Robert Hatch worked to ensure that Bobcat athletics reflected the very best qualities of the College as a whole.
As a head coach of football and later as director of athletics, Robert Hatch served Bates from 1949 to 1991 and worked to ensure that Bobcat athletics reflected the very best qualities of the College as a whole, including a spirit of egalitarianism and fairness toward both men and women athletes. As football coach from 1952 to 1972, Hatch led his teams to three CBB championships and the State of Maine title in 1956. As director of athletics from 1974 to 1991, Hatch oversaw the creation of Merrill Gymnasium as well as Bates’ entry into the New England Small College Athletics Conference. He pushed for the integration of the men’s and women’s athletics programs, previously two separate departments that were decidedly unequal — to the extent that women could use Alumni Gym only a few hours each week. “The steps that women have made in just the 25 to 30 years have been amazing,” Hatch said recently after his induction into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame. “It changed everything at the time, too, from recruiting to the layout of a campus. Everything was set up for men, even though we were a coed campus.”