Gatland, who led the Lions in Australia last summer and claimed a first series victory in 16 years, was beaten only by Real Madrid footballer Gareth Bale.
Since the tour Gatland has reclaimed his role as Welsh head coach as they prepare for next year's World Cup on British soil.
The Wales Online judging panel concluded: "Gatland wields enormous power and influence in Welsh sporting circles. Basically, when he speaks, people listen.
"His task in the coming year will be to improve Wales' record against the southern hemisphere big three - and to resurrect the notion that we can go into the 2015 World Cup as genuine contenders to win it."
Also featured in the list are Lions captain Sam Warburton (11), last summer's man of the series Leigh Halfpenny (13) and two-time try scorer Down Under George North (23).
And there are a handful of fellow Lions further down, with Gethin Jenkins (35), Alun Wyn Jones (39) and Shane Williams (45) also making the cut.