Jamey Rootes, the first team president of the Texans, died Sunday. He was 56.
His wife, Melissa Wildgen Rootes, confirmed the news on social media.
“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,” she wrote. “Jamey was best known for his devotion to his family and friends but was also former president of the Houston Texans, retiring in 2021. 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.
“If you or a loved one is thinking about suicide, or experiencing a health crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline right now at 1-800-273-8255.”
Franchise founder Bob McNair hired Jamey Rootes as team president in 2002. Rootes previously worked as the president and General Manager of the Columbus Crew before joining the expansion Texans and later worked as CEO for both of Houston’s major soccer franchises, the Dynamo and Dash.
The Texans had 185 consecutive sellouts in Rootes’ 20-year tenure, and the Houston Texans Foundation, which he oversaw, has raised more than $36 million since its inception.
“We are heartbroken to learn that former Houston Texans president Jamey Rootes has passed away,” the Texans wrote in a statement. “For two decades, Jamey led our business operations with an unwavering commitment to Houston and the Houston Texans. We are grateful for his steadfast leadership and immeasurable contributions to our team. Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences are with Jamey’s wife, Melissa, and their two children during this extremely difficult time.”
Rootes taught at the University of Houston’s C.T. Bauer College of Business and served on the board of directors of the Greater Houston Partnership and the United Way of Greater Houston after leaving the Texans. In April, he joined Rice University’s sports management department, where he was leading the school’s newly created sports analytics program.