The family of Billy Joe “Red” McCombs announced his passing at home in San Antonio. Red was a well-known and longtime Texas businessman, as well as the former owner of two different NBA teams and an NFL franchise.
At the age of 95, McCombs was predeceased by his beloved wife Charline in 2019.
“The entire McCombs family is heartbroken to announce that our father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Red McCombs passed away Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023,” read a statement that called McCombs “a Texas icon.”
“Red was a visionary entrepreneur who touched many lives and impacted our community in immeasurable ways,” the statement read. “But to us, he was always, first and foremost, ‘Dad’ or ‘Poppop.’”
With more than 400 companies to his name, McCombs undoubtedly left a legacy – so much that The University of Texas at Austin chose to honor him with the name of its business school: The McCombs School of Business.
We mourn the passing of Billy Joe "Red" McCombs and are thinking of his family and friends at this time. Red was widely known for his philanthropy. In 2000, he and his family donated $50 million to the business school at @UTAustin, which now bears his name. pic.twitter.com/UlemkJy9XM
— Texas McCombs (@UTexasMcCombs) February 21, 2023
We are saddened by the passing of Red McCombs. He was a generous visionary, inspiration, and friend. He will never be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/jOOEJPPFzN
— Circuit of The Americas (@COTA) February 20, 2023
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) February 20, 2023
We are saddened by the loss of Red McCombs, a true pioneer and legendary Longhorn, and extend our heartfelt condolences to his family (1/3) pic.twitter.com/w7naXZDJqJ
— Jay Hartzell (@JCHartzell) February 20, 2023
— Longhorn Network (@LonghornNetwork) February 20, 2023
Red McCombs, a business mogul and sports enthusiast, twice owned the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs. In between his two ownership stints of the Spurs, he acquired the Denver Nuggets basketball team and Minnesota Vikings football team.
The Vikings expressed their profound appreciation for McCombs and sympathise with his family in a statement.
“Red embodied his famous ‘Purple Pride’ phrase and remained a staunch Vikings fan” After relinquishing his ownership stake in the team, per the statement.
“While Red had a clear passion for sports, it was evident what he loved the most were his children and grandchildren,” the statement read.
McCombs had an instrumental role in Formula One’s reintroduction to America. Not only was he one of the biggest investors in Austin’s Circuit of The Americas, the first U.S.-based racetrack custom-built for F1 events, but his investment has also allowed us to enjoy this enthralling event since 2012 as host of the U.S. Grand Prix!
Texas circuit and annual grand prix were integral for Formula One’s attempt to establish a substantial foothold in the U.S. In 2023, F1 will participate in three races across America – Austin, Miami, and Las Vegas’ inaugural Grand Prix. This is an incredible accomplishment that will undoubtedly bring more awareness to this thrilling sport!
Red McCombs’ career in the auto industry began as a salesman in Corpus Christi, Texas during the early 1950s. Eventually, he developed Red McCombs Automotive – an expansive conglomerate of dealerships located throughout San Antonio.
Following his success, he established McCombs Energy – a premier oil and gas organization that has since flourished in the industry. He also ventured into land development and real estate businesses and owned cattle ranches as well as breeding operations. His passion for excellence was never ending as he co-founded Clear Channel Communications which eventually evolved into iHeartCommunications, Inc.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones lauded McCombs as a shining example of inspiration, “a true Texas titan across sports, media, business, and philanthropy.”
“Red’s determination, accomplishments, and positive spirit will live forever as he embodied a relentless and passionate approach to life, relationships, and community,” Jones stated.
McCombs was survived by three daughters, Lynda McCombs, Marsha Shields, and Connie McNab; eight grandchildren and an incredible eleven great-grandchildren.
The details of the funeral service remain undisclosed.