Harris County - Houston Sports Authority Announces Finalists for 2020 Houston Sports Awards
Mercilus honored with Sportsmanship Award; Crane named Executive of the Year
HOUSTON – On the field, Whitney Mercilus shows no mercy. Off the field, he shows nothing but.
The Houston Texans outside linebacker leads by example and grew up believing that those who are able
must help those in need and he does just that with his WithMerci Foundation. His mission is to serve
children with disabilities in underprivileged families through WithMerci has raised $500,000 since its
inception in 2016.
Mercilus has been actively involved in the Houston community since the Texans picked him in the first
round in 2012. Each of the last three years, WithMerci has focused on children with different disabilities.
This year, the focus is on Down syndrome, while previous focuses have been autism and cerebral palsy.
His commitment and compassion earned him the 2020 Sportsmanship Award. Fellow Texan J.J. Watt
won the award the previous two years.
Houston Astros owner Jim Crane, whose commitment to the city has expanded to include bringing the
Houston Open back to the city and the PGA TOUR schedule after a one-year hiatus, is the Executive of
the Year. The Executive of the Year Award is presented by Mercedes-Benz Dealers of Greater Houston.
Crane balanced the two sports this fall as the 2017 World Series Champions made it to their second
World Series in three years before losing Game 7 to the Washington Nationals. During the American
League Divisional and Championship Series, Crane’s Astros Golf Foundation hosted the new-look
Houston Open at Golf Club of Houston.
A few weeks later, Crane’s vision to bring the tournament back into the city and historic Memorial Park
became a reality as he hit the opening tee shot at the newly renovated Memorial Park Golf Course where
the Houston Open will be played beginning in 2020.
Mercilus and Crane join Lifetime Achievement Award Bob McNair, the late Houston Texans owner, as
the 2020 Legacy Award winners. They will be honored at the Houston Sports Awards presented by
Insperity on January 21, 2020 at the Hilton Americas.
The nominees for six other awards which will be given out on January 21 have also been selected.
Coach of the Year
A.J. Hinch – Houston Astros
Tina Langley – Rice Owls
Bill O’Brien – Houston Texans
Kelvin Sampson – University of Houston
Athlete of the Year