Jamey Rootes, President of the Houston Texans, has been named the 2014 Industry Impact Award winner by Sam Houston State University for his positive impact on the sports industry, community and the university.
Rootes brought the Battle of the Piney Woods, an annual game between Sam Houston State University and Stephen F. Austin to Reliant Stadium, giving the schools the chance to play in an NFL environment in a world-class facility. The Battle of the Piney Woods is the third oldest college football rivalry game in Texas.
"It is a great honor to be recognized by our friends and partners at Sam Houston State University," Rootes said. "It is especially humbling to follow my good friend Don Sanders given his many amazing achievements in sports and well beyond. I admire the work that the Sam Houston State University sports management program is doing to develop the next generation of sports leaders and look forward to continuing to support them in their efforts."
Candidates for the Industry Impact Award are identified by faculty and students in the Sports Management program at Sam Houston State University for their contributions to the sports industry.
"Jamey is recognized throughout the industry as someone that has been a leader and innovator with the practices he has implemented as a member of the Texans, he has also made a tremendous direct impact on our university and our program," said Ryan Zapalac, Assistant Chair of the Sports Management program at SHSU. "His work to help make the Battle of the Piney Woods a signature event for SHSU and Stephen F. Austin State University has helped provide both institutions with a built-in bowl game atmosphere every year. Additionally, he has made a direct impact for our students by helping them obtain valuable experience in the industry both as interns and employees. We are truly fortunate to call Jamey Rootes a friend to our program and to Sam Houston State University."
Rootes echoed Zapalac's sentiments on the relationship between the two organizations.
"Partnering with Sam Houston State and Stephen F. Austin on the Battle of the Piney Woods gives us the opportunity to positively impact the game of football in this region and enhance an already amazing college football rivalry in our state. The Battle of the Piney Woods is a cherished annual event for both institutions and playing it in the world class environment of Reliant Stadium in the great city of Houston has helped us to take things to a whole new level for the players, the coaches, the fans and the schools. The Battle of the Piney Woods in Reliant Stadium has quickly been established as an unqualified success and we are just getting started. The best is yet to come."