Jamey Rootes, the former president of the Houston Texans, has died. His wife, Melissa Wildgen Rootes, posted on Facebook that her husband passed away on Sunday after a battle with mental illness.
The post read, “Our family is heartbroken to confirm that after a battle with mental health issues, Jamey Rootes passed away on Sunday, August 21, 2022 in Houston, Texas. Jamey was best known for his devotion to his family and friends but was also former of the Houston Texans, retiring in 2021.
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“Jamey was a dedicated Houstonian who loved his city and touched so many lives through his professional, academic, and philanthropic work. Our family is requesting privacy and will not be responding to media inquiries. The details of a celebration of Jamey’s life will be announced at a later date.
“If you or a loved are thinking about suicide, or experiencing a health crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline right now at 1-800-273-8255.”
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Rootes, who was president of the Texans for more than two decades before retirement, joined Rice University’s Department of Sport Management just last week and was expected to head the newly-created Hutchinson Leadership Initiative in Sport Analytics.
In a news release distributed a few days before his death, several representatives of Rice expressed excitement about Rootes joining the University, with one remarking that his involvement was to be a “game changer.”
Rootes was also quoted in the releases, stating that he was looking forward to “working with the outstanding faculty to help develop the next generation of leaders in the sport industry.”
[Editor’s note: I had the distinct honor and privilege to meet Mr. Rootes at an event, and from there, became a “Facebook Friend.” I enjoyed watching the growth of the organization under his leadership. RIP. ]
The Rice news release also proudly outlined Rootes’ long list of accomplishments.
Rootes was the right hand man for Texans founder, Bob McNair. During his tenure, the team earned many distinctions, including numerous Crystal Awards from the Houston chapter of the American Marketing Association and, most recently, two American Business Awards for marketing excellence. The team sold out 185 consecutive home games at one point under his leadership — a record for a Houston NFL team.
Rootes also developed and served as president of Lone Star Sports & Entertainment, a sports management agency associated with the Texans that has been a catalyst for some of Houston’s most significant sporting events, including an annual college football bowl game and numerous international soccer matches.
Rootes received a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Clemson University and an MBA at Indiana University Bloomington.