UT community reacts to death of Joe Jamail

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Photo Credit: Caleb Kuntz | Daily Texan Staff

Longtime UT benefactor and Texas lawyer Joe Jamail passed away on Wednesday morning after complications with pneumonia.

Jamail was a significant figure at the University — the swimming center and field at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium were named after him. Many members of the UT community reacted to his death on social media.

Strong later released a statement, saying he loved Jamail because of his brashness and confidence.

“He wore his feelings on his sleeve, but he also was a guy that cared about everyone and would help anyone in need,” Strong said. “It’s a sad day knowing that such an important part of our program has passed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. When we go in the stadium and see the Joe Jamail Field sign and his statue it will continue to remind us how much he gave to this program. I know I’ll think about him and remember a story he told every time I see them."

Athletic director Mike Perrin offered his condolences in a statement and highlighted what Jamail did for the University.

“Joe Jamail was a giant of a man, who made a huge impact in all facets of life,” Perrin said. “His contributions to The University of Texas are a lasting legacy and testament to his never ending quest to give back and support activities, the law and sports he believed in.”

Former athletic director Steve Patterson, who resigned from the position in September, also dedicated a tweet to Jamail.

Former athletic director DeLoss Dodds also had a statement, saying Jamail always wanted to help in anyway he could at UT.

“Joe was a dear friend of mine and our coaches,” Dodds said. “He was very close to Darrell and Edith Royal and Mack and Sally Brown. He shared in our national championships and we are proud his name is on our field — it's very deserving.”

Mack Brown released a statement in the afternoon, saying Jamail and Darrell K Royal “were two of the most influential people in [his] life and having lost them both now is so difficult.”  Jamail and Brown were good friends during Brown’s 16 years as head football coach.

“Joe was one in a million,” Brown said. “He was frank, direct and at times crass, but most importantly, caring and giving. I’ll miss the conversations, advice and simple solutions he always had to what seemed to be the most complex issues. I always knew I could call Joe at any time with any question and he’d be there for me. I will really miss him, but count myself as one of the lucky ones whose life has been changed by Joe Jamail. He has affected so much and so many with all he did.”

This story has been updated since its initial publication to include statements from Charlie Strong and Mack Brown.