Born in Williamstown, Massachusetts on October 21, 1942, Dr. Hatfield was raised in a Connecticut orphanage until his graduation from Cromwell High School in 1961. Throughout high school, he competed in track & field, soccer, basketball and cross country all four years, and was honored at graduation as "best athlete."
He joined the U.S. Marine Corps and spent his enlistment with the Office of Naval Intelligence in the Philippines. He was honorably discharged in 1964. Then Dr. Hatfield enrolled at Southern Connecticut State University.
Dr. Frederick C. Hatfield earned his doctorate in philosophy from Temple University with competency examinations taken in sport psychology, motor learning and sport sociology.