Tragedy has struck the lone star state of Texas as news broke that Robert C. McNair, founder and CEO of the Houston Texans passed away Friday at the age of 81.

According to Click 2 Houston, McNair who battled leukemia and squamous cell carcinoma died peacefully with his family by his side as the state of Texas and the NFL mourn the man who vowed to bring another football team to Houston after the Oilers moved to Tennessee after the 1996 season.

Texans Coach Bill O’Brien remembers him as a person who cared about his players more than he cared about winning football games.

He was a very caring, thoughtful and passionate individual.  As much as he cared about winning, I think the thing I will remember most about Mr. McNair is the way he cared about the players.

The Houston Texans came into existence on October 6th, 1999 making it the 32nd NFL franchise and they began in their regular season in 2002.

McNair’s son Cal who is was serving as the team’s chairman and chief operating officer will continue to lead the team.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to the McNair family and Houston Texans fans.