CFL legend Frank Clair passes away
The Canadian Football League lost one of its legendary builders Sunday as former coaching great Frank Clair died of congestive heart failure at the age of 87.
Clair worked coaching stints with the Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa Rough Riders from 1950 to 1969.
Clair, who had led the Toronto Argonauts to two Grey Cup titles in the early 1950s, arrived in Ottawa in 1956 charged with turning around a poorly run and uncompetitive team. Once Clair took over, the Rough Riders made the playoffs in 14 consecutive seasons. He won CFL coach of the year honours in 1966 and 1969.
His all-time coaching mark, including playoffs, stands at 174-124-8. Clair was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame as a builder in 1981.
Only Montreal’s Don Matthews (230) and B.C.'s Wally Buono (193) have more career coaching wins than Clair. After taking over as general manager in 1970, Clair led the Rough Riders to Grey Cup titles, in 1973 and 1976.
In 1993, Lansdowne Park, home of the CFL’s Ottawa Renegades and the long-time stadium for Clair’s Rough Riders, was renamed in his honour.
Clair, who was living in Florida for the past 23 years, is survived by his wife Pat and his daughter.