Bob McNair, a Houston sports legend, died this evening at age 81 surrounded by his wife Janice and immediate family. Over the course of the last few years, Mr. McNair bravely fought various forms of skin cancer. Mr. McNair made his fortunes in energy. He epitomized hard work and excellence. He is also singlehandedly responsible for bring professional football back to Houston. For that we will proudly and boldly honor him.
If you have lived in Houston for a while, you remember when the Oilers left town in 1996. It was a sad moment for many football fans as they removed professional football from a state that prides itself in the sport. Bud Adams had threatened the move for years, but he was serious that time. For a while, Houston was devoid of football until 2002, when the NFL returned to Houston because of one man. While there were other people behind it, Bob McNair was the driving force in getting a team.
The team was called the Texans, and people instantly supported the team, while others still rooted for the team in Nashville. Fans watched as the Texans did the expansion draft to help build a team from scratch. They also saw the team pick up David Carr with the first overall pick that year. While success was hard to find early in franchise history, the Texans did make the playoffs in 2011. Over the years, the one thing the team seemed to lack was a real quarterback. That was until the team drafted Deshaun Watson. Bob McNair was instrumental in bringing the franchise quarterback to Houston. His guidance for the team will be sorely missed.
The Houston Texans organization released the following statement:
"It is with deep sadness that we announce Houston Texans Founder, Senior Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and philanthropist, Robert C. McNair passed away peacefully in Houston today with his loving wife, Janice, and his family by his side."
Mr. McNair will be known for his ownership of the Houston Texans but his impact far exceeds the football field. He and his wife Janice, with the Robert and Janice McNair Educational Foundation, have given away tens of millions of dollars to make a great impact in Houston and the surrounding areas. In Mr. McNair’s own words, “If you're going to have a satisfactory standard of living, you're going to have to be competitive in this world. And you can't be competitive if you don't have a good education.” Educating people was his passion.
Mr. McNair often talked about getting older. His one desire was to see a Super Bowl trophy come to Houston. When it does he will be celebrating from a perch beyond the skies. This magical season has now taken on the spirit of its owner. We at Houston Preeminence extend our heartfelt condolences to the McNair family.