Former Houston Texans president Jamey Rootes dies after battle with mental health issues, wife confirms

HOUSTON – Former Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes has died after a battle with mental health issues, his wife, Melissa Rootes, confirmed on social media Monday evening.

Melissa said that 56-year-old Jamey passed away on Sunday in Houston.

“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 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 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 one are thinking about suicide or experiencing a health crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline right now at 1-800-273-8255,” Melissa wrote in a Facebook post.

Rootes was one of the late Bob McNair’s first hires. He joined the Texans in 2000 and throughout his tenure, before retiring in 2021, he oversaw many things including the creation and launch of the team’s identity.

A former Clemson soccer player who worked as a general manager for MLS’ the Columbus Crew, Rootes was hired as the first team president in franchise history. Under Rootes’ direction, the Texans raised nearly $40 million through their charitable foundation. He was a co-chair of the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund and helped direct the Texans’ philanthropic efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

“We are heartbroken to learn that former Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes has passed away,” Texans co-founder Janice McNair, Texans chairman and CEO Cal McNair and Texans foundation vice president Hannah McNair said in a statement. “For two decades, Jamey Rootes 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 are with Jamey’s wife, Melissa, and their two children during his extremely difficult time.”

After the Texans, Rootes was briefly named the CEO of Dynamo and Dash but he stepped down less than three weeks later.

On Aug. 19, Rice University announced that Rootes would be joining the university’s Department of Sports Management as the head of the newly created Hutchinson Leadership Initiative in Sport Analytics. He was set to teach up to three courses per semester.

In the news release announcing Rootes’ new role, chair and professor for the department in Rice’s School of Social Sciences Clark Haptonstall called the hire a “game changer.”

“I’ve known Jamey since 2003 and I have seen the passion that he has for teaching and mentoring,” Haptonstall said in the release. “His knowledge of the sport industry and his vast network of contacts will be invaluable for Rice.”

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the amazing sport management students at Rice University,” Rootes is quoted as saying in the release. “I look forward to working with the outstanding faculty to help develop the next generation of leaders in the sport industry.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, here are ways to get help:

  • Call 9-8-8. That is the national suicide hotline and can be called from anywhere in the country if you’re in a crisis.
  • The Harris Center for Mental Health is a local crisis hotline: 713-970-7000
  • NAMI also has the “warm line” for those in need of mental health guidance, not in crisis: 713-970-4483
  • Harris‌ ‌County‌ ‌‌Sheriff’s‌ ‌Dept‌ ‌Crisis‌ ‌: (713)‌ ‌221-6000‌ ‌
  • Fort‌ ‌Bend ‌: (800)‌ ‌633-5686‌‌
  • Montgomery‌ ‌County‌ :‌ 1-800-659-6994‌ ‌
  • Para‌ ‌llamadas‌ ‌en‌ ‌‌Espanol‌:‌ ‌‌1-888-628-9454‌ ‌

Aaron Wilson is a Pro Football Network reporter, and a contributor to KPRC 2 and

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