Just over a year ago, Rick Smith took a leave of absence from his role as General Manager of the Houston Texans to tend to his wife, Tiffany, as she battled breast cancer.
Smith released a statement on Thursday evening that Tiffany had lost her fight.
“Tiffany Avery Smith my wife of 17 years, passed away today at 12:00 noon, after a fierce battle with Breast Cancer,” Smith said, via ABC 13. “She was beautiful, courageous, and a wonderful wife and mother. I was honored to be her husband and I loved her dearly. My family and I, are in such gratitude for the outpouring of love and support we have received during her course of treatments. Thank you for your prayers, well wishes, dinners, rides to school, and all the many gestures of love and support we’ve received during this time. We are blessed to be in this community. God bless you all.”
The Texans announced Rick Smith was taking a leave of absence of New Year’s Eve of 2017. Smith and Texans head coach Bill O’Brien had also butted heads over decisions made by the team leading up to Smith’s leave. The Texans hired Brian Gaine to take over the G.M. duties with Smith unavailable for the foreseeable future.
The Texans also released a statement upon learning of Tiffany’s passing.
“My family and the entire Houston Texans organization are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Tiffany Smith,” chairman and CEO Cal McNair said. “She was a loving mother, wife, and a strong force for good in the Houston community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Rick, their three children and the entire Smith family.”