Editor’s note: If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
Jamey Rootes, the first team president in Houston Texans history, has died at the age of 55, his wife announced on social media Monday night.
Melissa Wildgen Rootes shared the news in a Facebook post confirming her husband passed away in Houston on Sunday following a “battle with mental health issues.”
“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.”
She concluded, “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.”
A member of the Texans organization for 20 years, Rootes was hired as team president by late owner Bob McNair in 2002, the year the Texans played their first NFL game. He resigned from the position in February 2021, and was succeeded by current president Greg Grissom in March.
McNair’s widow Janice, son Cal and daughter-in-law Hannah issued a joint statement in Rootes’s honor.
“We are heartbroken to learn that former Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes has passed away,” the statement began. “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.”
Following his Texans tenure, Rootes went on to serve as CEO of MLS team Houston Dynamo and NWSL team Houston Dash before stepping down in July after 18 days in the role.
Prior to joining Houston, the Clemson alum spent time as the president and general manager of MLS team Columbus Crew for four years.