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Jamey Rootes Dies at Age 56; Was Texans' 1st Team President

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 23, 2022

Melissa Wildgen Rootes and Jamey Rootes (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Jamey Rootes, who served as the Houston Texans' team president from their inaugural season in 2002 through his 2021 retirement, died Sunday at the age of 56.

His wife, Melissa Wildgen Rootes, posted a statement on Facebook, saying his death came after a "battle with mental health issues":

Mark Berman @MarkBermanFox26

Melissa Wildgen Rootes, wife of former Texans President Jamey Rootes, posted the following about her late husband tonight on Facebook: <a href="https://t.co/b66SCnS5FO">pic.twitter.com/b66SCnS5FO</a>

The Texans' ownership group expressed condolences on Twitter:

Houston Texans @HoustonTexans

<a href="https://t.co/Vi90FfGTQr">pic.twitter.com/Vi90FfGTQr</a>

Rootes oversaw the business operations amid the franchise's early stages of development and also guided the Houston Texans Foundation, which raised nearly $40 million during his tenure, per KRPC's Ninfa Saavedra and Aaron Wilson.

He also helped lead the Texans' philanthropic efforts in wake of Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and served as co-chairperson of the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund.

Rice University announced Friday that Rootes had joined the college's staff to lead the new Hutchinson Leadership Initiative in Sport Analytics.

Clark Haptonstall, chairman of Rice's Department of Sport Management, released a statement Tuesday:

"This is a devastating loss for Rice and our Sport Management family. Though Jamey was only at Rice a short time, he had generated unbelievable excitement among our students and was already inspiring them in ways I doubt he could have imagined. He will be greatly missed by us all."

Rootes, a Clemson alumnus, started his sports executive career as president and general manager of MLS' Columbus Crew before joining the Texans. He also served as CEO of MLS' Houston Dynamo and NWSL's Houston Dash for a short time in 2021.

MLS commissioner Don Garber posted a statement Tuesday:

Don Garber @thesoccerdon

I join the entire MLS community in expressing my deepest condolences to the family &amp; friends of Jamey Rootes following his passing. Jamey was always a friendly face, an exceptional businessman and a passionate advocate for our game. <a href="https://t.co/VzzJ36ZZkz">pic.twitter.com/VzzJ36ZZkz</a>

Here's a look at some other reaction from social media:

Justin Reid @JustinqReid

So sad to hear the news about Jamey Rootes. Was a great man and was always positive around the building. Prayers for his family 🙏🏾

John P. Lopez @LopezOnSports

My best memories of Jamey Rootes have nothing to do with football or the Texans. He was a fine person whose love for his family shined.<br>I will miss him. We all will, even if you never met him.<br>His legacy and impact is as strong as anyone in the organization. RIP, my friend.

Brett Coomer @coomerchron

I am terribly saddened upon learning about the death of former Houston Texans president Jamey Rootes. Jamey was such a great person to be around. He always have time for anyone who asked, no matter how busy he was. I for one was honored to have known him. <a href="https://t.co/fyL99UXajq">https://t.co/fyL99UXajq</a> <a href="https://t.co/K90RLL6nBk">pic.twitter.com/K90RLL6nBk</a>

RODEOHOUSTON @RODEOHOUSTON

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo family is extremely heartbroken to hear of the passing of former Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes. <a href="https://t.co/IqVXz9yMm8">pic.twitter.com/IqVXz9yMm8</a>

Rootes was named the Steinberg/DeNicola NFL Humanitarian of the Year in 2020 along with numerous other awards and honors during his nearly three-decade executive career.

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