He called himself a homer for Houston and the late Robert C. McNair loved his adopted city so much that when the Houston Oilers franchise moved to Tennessee, he spent two years convincing the NFL to give Houston an expansion team.
Not only did Bob McNair bring the NFL back to Houston with the Houston Texans, but he was also the driving force behind the city getting Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004 and Super Bowl LI in 2017.
McNair, who passed away after a five-year battle with cancer in 2018, will be honored with the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Houston Sports Awards presented by Insperity January 21, 2020 at the Hilton Americas. He joins the 2020 Houston Sports Hall of Fame Class – Carl Lewis, Mary Lou Retton and Rudy Tomjanovich – as the early honorees for the third annual event, which celebrates the Golden Era.
McNair was born in Florida and raised in the Carolinas but moved to Houston with his wife, Janice, in 1960 and never left. The self-made millionaire is known for bringing the Texans to the city in 2002, was also a successful businessman and philanthropist with a heart of gold. He and his foundations donated more than $500 million to charity over the years, including $100 million dollars in donations to the Baylor College of Medicine for the McNair Medical Institute.
He was the second inductee into the Texans Ring of Honor earlier this month. He is also a member of the Texas Business Hall of Fame and was on the board of a number of institutions, including Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine, the Houston Grand Opera and the Museum of Fine Arts.
“Bob McNair was one of the most generous, giving men I’ve ever met. He was a true Houstonian who loved this city and had such an incredible impact on so many lives,” said Janis Burke, CEO of the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority. “It could honestly take us a lifetime to honor all that he has done, but we are looking forward to doing our small part in January at the Houston Sports Awards.”
Previous Lifetime Award winners were the late President George H.W. and Barbara Bush (2019) and former Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander (2018).