H.B. “Bebe” Lee, director of athletics at Kansas State University from 1956 to 1968, died Sunday at the age of 96 in Southport, N. C.
Following a successful stint as head basketball coach at the University of Colorado, which culminated with a Final Four appearance in 1955, Lee became the youngest athletics director in the Big Seven Conference when he took over the Wildcat athletic program.
The K-State men’s basketball team, under the direction of Hall of Fame coach Tex Winter, advanced to six NCAA tournaments as well as Final Four appearances in 1958 and 1964 with Lee at the helm of the department.
The Stanford graduate was instrumental in the growth and development of K-State Athletics, which included the acquisition of land to build a new football stadium (which later became Bill Snyder Family Stadium) and the eventual location of the Wildcats’ current baseball, track and field, basketball and indoor practice facilities. Lee left K-State to start his own business in 1968, and Ernie Barrett stepped in as K-State’snext athletics director.
Lee is survived by his two daughters, Vicki and Barbara. His son Gary passed away in a tragic auto accident in 1987. Lee has two grandchildren, Stewart and Paul Farris, and five great-grand children.
Funeral arrangements are pending.