HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Jamey Rootes, the former longtime president of the Houston Texans, has died, his wife said Monday night.
In a Facebook post, Melissa Wildgen Rootes said her husband passed away on Sunday after “a battle with mental health issues”.
Best known for his dedication to his family and friends, Jamey was also a former president of Houston Texans, retiring in 2021.
Our family asks for privacy and will not respond to questions from the media. Details of a celebration of Jamey’s life will be announced at a later date. If you or a loved one are thinking about suicide, or experiencing a health crisis, please call then the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline now at 1-800-273-8255,” the statement continued.
Rootes was a fixture in Houston’s sport for two decades as president of the Texans. Rootes ran the business as the right-hand man to team founder Bob McNair.
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He was known for his cheerful approach and enthusiasm for the Texans, the college bowl game hosted at NRG Stadium, and the city of Houston in general. Rootes left the organization in February of last year and briefly joined the Houston Dynamo in a leadership position.
After leaving the football franchise, Rootes taught Sam Houston and last week joined Rice’s faculty to teach there.
According to NFL.com, Rootes was 56.
The Texas organization released a statement Monday night on the passing of their former leader, reflecting on his long ties to the city and the NFL team.
“We are heartbroken to hear of the passing of former Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes. For two decades, Jamey ran our business with unwavering dedication to Houston and the Houston Texans. We are grateful for his steadfast leadership and immeasurable contributing to our team Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences are with Jamey’s wife, Melissa, and their two children at this extremely difficult time,” Janice, Cal and Hannah McNair said in a statement.
Former Texan cornerback Justin Reid remembered Rootes as an uplifting member of the team.
“So sad to hear the news about Jamey Rootes. Was a great man and always positive in the building. Prayers for his family,” Reid tweeted.
Retired Houston Chronicle NFL writer John McClain offered a reminder of his meeting with Rootes and sadly lamenting his time after leaving the Texans.
“I met Jamey Rootes 22 years ago after (Texan founder) Bob McNair hired him to lead the Texas marketing department at the recommendation of Lamar Hunt. Bob soon promoted Jamey to President, a role he held until he stepped down in 2021. He always regretted leaving the Texans,” McClain tweeted.
Reid Ryan, Rootes’ rival as president of Houston Astros, also remembered meeting his colleague from the city.
“When I came to the Astros in 2013, Jamey Rootes was one of the first people to welcome me. His ‘can do’ attitude was infectious. He loved Houston and worked hard to promote the city. I valued his opinion and he pushed me to get well.Prayers for Melissa and his family,” Ryan tweeted.
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