Frank James Clair (May 12, 1917 – April 3, 2005) was an American gridiron football player, coach, and executive. Nicknamed "the Professor" for his ability to recognize and develop talent, he served as a head coach in the Canadian Football League (CFL) with the Toronto Argonauts from 1950 to 1954 and the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1956 to 1969. Clair ranks third all-time in CFL history with 147 regular season wins and first in postseason victories with 27. He is also tied for the most Grey Cup championships won by a head coach with five. He won the Annis Stukus Trophy as the CFL's coach of the year in 1966 and 1969.
Statue of Frank Clair in TD Place Stadium
|Born:||May 12, 1917|
|Died:||April 3, 2005 87) (aged|
|1970–1978||Ottawa Rough Riders|
|1946||Miami (OH) (assistant)|
|1956–1969||Ottawa Rough Riders|
Clair played end for the Ohio State Buckeyes, lettering in 1938, 1939, and 1940. As a receiver, he was quarterback Don Scott's favorite target. In 1941, Clair played in seven games for the Washington Redskins.
Clair found his greatest success in coaching. He was the head football coach at the University at Buffalo in 1948 and 1949. During the 1950s, he coached the Toronto Argonauts to two Grey Cups in 1950 and 1952.
In 1956, he joined the Ottawa Rough Riders. As coach, Clair led them to Grey Cup Championships in 1960, 1968 and 1969. After retiring from coaching following the 1969 season, became the team's general manager, where they won Grey Cups in 1973 and 1976. He was let go by the team in 1978. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1981.
The stadium at Lansdowne Park was renamed Frank Clair Stadium in his honour on April 8, 1993. He was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. Clair lived in retirement and died in Sarasota, Florida. In 2014, the stadium was renamed TD Place, and the operators erected a statue of Clair in his honour.
Head coaching record
|Buffalo Bulls (Independent) (1948–1949)|
|Team||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|TOR||1950||6||5||1||.542||2nd in IRFU||3||1||Won Grey Cup|
|TOR||1951||7||5||0||.583||3rd in IRFU||1||1||Lost in IRFU Semi-Finals|
|TOR||1952||7||4||1||.625||2nd in IRFU||4||1||Won Grey Cup|
|TOR||1953||5||9||0||.357||4th in IRFU||-||-||Missed Playoffs|
|TOR||1954||6||8||0||.429||3rd in IRFU||-||-||Missed Playoffs|
|TOR Total||31||31||2||.500||0 East Division|
|8||3||2 Grey Cups|
|OTT||1956||7||7||0||.500||3rd in IRFU||0||1||Lost in Division Semi-Finals|
|OTT||1957||8||6||0||.571||2nd in IRFU||0||1||Lost in Division Semi-Finals|
|OTT||1958||6||8||0||.429||3rd in IRFU Division||1||2||Lost in Division Finals|
|OTT||1959||8||6||0||.571||2nd in East Division||2||1||Lost in Division Finals|
|OTT||1960||9||5||0||.643||2nd in East Division||4||0||Won Grey Cup|
|OTT||1961||8||6||0||.571||2nd in East Division||0||1||Lost in Division Semi-Finals|
|OTT||1962||6||7||1||.464||2nd in East Division||0||1||Lost in Division Semi-Finals|
|OTT||1963||9||5||0||.643||2nd in East Division||2||1||Lost in Division Finals|
|OTT||1964||8||5||1||.607||2nd in East Division||2||1||Lost in Division Finals|
|OTT||1965||7||7||0||.500||2nd in East Division||1||2||Lost in Division Finals|
|OTT||1966||11||3||0||.786||1st in East Division||2||1||Lost Grey Cup|
|OTT||1967||9||4||1||.679||2nd in East Division||1||2||Lost in Division Finals|
|OTT||1968||9||3||2||.714||1st in East Division||2||1||Won Grey Cup|
|OTT||1969||11||3||0||.786||1st in East Division||2||1||Won Grey Cup|
|OTT Total||116||75||5||.605||3 East Division|
|19||16||3 Grey Cups|
|Total||147||106||7||.579||3 East Division|
|27||19||5 Grey Cups|
- "1948 Buffalo Football," University at Buffalo Sports History Collection - January 29, 2014.
- "1949 Buffalo Football," University at Buffalo Sports History Collection - May 8, 2014.
- "Argonauts lay claim to legendary Mud Bowl". CFL.ca. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
- "O'Connor's late score lifts Argos over Eskimos". CFL.ca. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
- "Frank Clair". Ontario Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 24, 2014.
- "CFL Legend Frank Clair passes". Esksfans.com. Retrieved January 8, 2014.