Legendary Texas businessman Red McCombs has died at the age of 95.
The death of McCombs, formerly the owner of the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Vikings, was announced Monday.
His family said in a statement: “Red was a visionary entrepreneur who touched many lives and impacted our community in immeasurable ways.
“But to us, he was always ‘Dad’ or ‘Poppop’ first and foremost.
“We mourn the loss of a Texas icon.”
Sadly, McComb’s wife Charline passed away in 2019.
The couple had three children, Lynda McCombs, Marsha Shields and Connie McNab, eight grandchildren and eleven grandchildren.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver later responded to news of McComb’s death, calling him “an innovator and savvy entrepreneur,” per KSAT.
He said: “Red McCombs brought the Spurs to San Antonio and was a driving force in creating the modern NBA.
“He was an innovator and accomplished entrepreneur who was never afraid to take risks.
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“We mourn the loss of Red and offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends and to the Spurs organization.”
According to McCombs Enterprises, McCombs had over 400 companies during his lifetime.
These included numerous car dealerships under the Red McCombs Automotive brand, an oil and gas company called McCombs Energy, and Clear Channel Communications – now known as iHeartCommunications, Inc.
But for many, he will forever be remembered for his impact on the sports world.
After buying the ABA’s Dallas Chaparrals, he moved them to San Antonio for the 1973-74 season, according to ESPN.
Speaking to the Houston Chronicle, Spurs legend and NBA Hall of Famer George Gervin said McComb’s “impact” on the city of San Antonio was “incredible.”
“We always say, ‘Anything that touches red turns to gold.’ It’s reality, his vision for this city, his vision for Spurs.
“We named them (the Spurs) after the town (Spur, Texas) where he grew up. So that says a lot about his influence at Spurs.”
McCombs was credited by ESPN as “instrumental in bringing the Spurs into the NBA as part of the 1976 ABA-NBA merger” and later sold his stake in the team in 1982.
A three-year tenure as the owner of the Denver Nuggets followed before repurchasing his stake in the Spurs in 1986.
Two years later he bought the rest of the Spurs.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich also paid tribute to his “good friend and mentor”, saying: “Red was a true icon. A Texan legend.
“It’s impossible to overstate the impact he had on the city of San Antonio. Perhaps his most impressive trait was his commitment to the community.
“Red and Charline have impacted the lives of tens of thousands here in San Antonio and across Texas.
“From raising multi-million dollar donations to flying a stranded little league team back to San Antonio, the McCombs family has always put community first.
“For me he was above all a good friend and mentor.”
Fast forward to 1993 and he left San Antonio again and came under NFL ownership in 1998.
Seven years later, he turned his $246 million purchase into $600 million.
Described by the Vikings in a opinion A man who “embodied his famous ‘Purple Pride’ line,” McCombs was also a supporter of the University of Texas Longhorns.
Mack Brown, who coached UT from 1998-2013, tweeted: “I am saddened to hear that Red McCombs has passed away. He was a giant of man and a dear friend.
“My life is so much better for knowing him and he will definitely be missed. We send our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.”
According to KXAN, a multi-million dollar donor to UT, their school of business, softball field and part of the north end zone at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium bear his name.
And his name will live on in racing too.
An investor in Austin’s Circuit of the Americas – home of the US Grand Prix – the first corner was previously named after him.
Racing legend Mario Andretti tweeted: “Race fans will be forever grateful to Red McCombs, the visionary investor who helped fund the internationally renowned Circuit of the Americas.
“A wonderful friend of motorsport and certainly a friend of mine. RIP Red.”
According to Forbes, McCombs had a staggering net worth of $1.7 billion at the time of his death.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/7448946/red-mccombs-death-spurs-vikings-nuggets-owner/ Learn about billionaire Red McCombs’ incredible career before his death, from Spurs joining the NBA to owning 400 companies