Statue of Frank Clair in TD Place Stadium
May 12, 1917|
April 3, 2005 (aged 87)|
|1970–1978||Ottawa Rough Riders|
|1956–1969||Ottawa Rough Riders|
Frank James Clair (May 12, 1917 – April 3, 2005) was a coach in the Canadian Football League, nicknamed "the Professor" for his ability to recognize and develop talent. Clair ranks third all-time in the CFL with 147 regular season wins and is the most successful head coach in the post-season with 27 victories. He is also tied for the most Grey Cup championships won by a head coach with five. As a result, he won the Annis Stukus Trophy as the CFL's coach of the year in 1966 and 1969.
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 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. After he was let go in 1978, the team won no more Grey Cups. 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 (NCAA College Division 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". http://oshof.ca/. Retrieved 24 September 2014. External link in
- "CFL Legend Frank Clair passes". Esksfans.com. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
- Frank Clair at the College Football Data Warehouse at the Wayback Machine (archived 2016-03-03)