Gatland led the British and Irish Lions so successfully in Australia and also helped Wales to win back-to-back RBS 6 Nations titles.
With the Lions series poised at 1-1 after two narrow encounters, Gatland's men hammered the Wallabies in the final match as they racked up 41 points in Sydney to secure victory in style.
Gatland received his awards at a glittering ceremony at the Montcalm Hotel in London and joins a list of winners that in previous years have included Jessica Ennis-Hill's coach Toni Minichiello and England Cricket coach Andy Flower.
Gatland started coaching in the mid-1990s and since his player retirement in 1995, he went on to make a significant impact in the world of rugby union, coaching both the Irish and Welsh international teams and also making his mark in the Aviva Premiership with London Wasps.
Fellow rugby union coach Nick Walshe, player/backs coach for Bedford Blues and former Saracens player, was named Performance Development Coach of the Year.
The 2013 Gillette Great Starts' campaign celebrates community coaches and inspires the next generation of coaches by providing them with grants to fund their next level qualifications.