Clair Francis Bee (March 2, 1896 in Grafton, West Virginia - May 20, 1983) was an American basketball coach who led the team at Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York to two undefeated seasons in 1935-36 and 1938-39, as well as two National Invitation Tournament (NIT) titles (1939, 1941).
Clair Bee was an accounting professor at Rider College. In 1928, Clair Bee founded varsity athletics at Rider, creating the first collegiate schedules at the institution. He coached football, men's and women's basketball and baseball. His 1930 men's basketball team was the first team in the nation to score 1,000 points in a single season. He compiled a 52-8 record in three seasons (1928-31) at Rider.
Bee's LIU teams won 95 percent of their games from 1931 to 1951, including 43 in a row from 1935 to 1937. Bee has the highest winning percentage of any coach in NCAA Division I history at .826 (412-87). He is the coach who reached 200 and 300 wins the most quickly in NCAA Division I history. His teams recorded a 43-game winning streak, an NCAA record at the time.
Clair Bee also coached the football team at LIU until it was disbanded in 1940.
Bee coached the National Basketball Association's Baltimore Bullets from 1952 to 1954. His contributions to the game of basketball include the 1-3-1 zone defense, the three-second rule and the 24-second shot clock in the NBA.
Bee also authored a series of sports manuals and the fictional Chip Hilton series of books for children. In 1968, he cofounded the Kutsher's Sports Academy.
The Clair Bee Coach of the Year Award is awarded every year to a coach who makes an outstanding contribution to the game of college basketball, and the Chip Hilton Player of the Year Award is awarded to a men's basketball player. Rider University awards the Clair Bee Trophy to the University's Athlete of the Year.
Bee is a member of the Rider Athletics Hall of Fame.
Clair Bee was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1968 as a contributor.