MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA.
Jason Jenkins, who spent nearly 14 years with the Miami Dolphins and eventually became the team’s senior vice president of communications, died suddenly on Saturday, the team announced. He was 47 years old.
Jenkins joined the Dolphins in 2009, after spending nearly seven years working with the San Francisco 49ers. He also worked at Texas Southern, Lehigh and Texas Tech — his alma mater, which asked him to give a commencement speech in 2018.
“I’m here to tell you that it won’t be your geography that will mark your journey,” Jenkins said in that speech. “It will be three things: the depth of your relationships, the foundation of your values and the courage of your decision-making. So my career and my life have been great.
The Houston native is survived by his wife Elizabeth and three children. The Dolphins announced his death during their Saturday preseason game against Philadelphia.
Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel struggled to contain his post-game emotions when speaking about Jenkins, shortly after announcing his death to his team. He loved everything from Jenkins’ work ethic to his own, to the professionalism of his wardrobe.
“He was a healthy guy who brought it every day. … Just full of life,” a tearful McDaniel said. “That’s the hardest part. There are simply no words to describe. He has a wonderful family. His wife is awesome and his kids. . We will miss him. He will not be forgotten, I can tell you that.”
Tributes poured in from other sports media relations professionals, across multiple leagues, on social media following the Dolphins’ announcement. Cleveland Cavaliers vice president BJ Evans said Jenkins was “a wonderful human being.”
“I am heartbroken,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said. “Jason Jenkins was an icon in the Miami community, and above all a kind and amazing family man.”
Jenkins has served on numerous boards in South Florida including the Anti-Defamation League Florida, Breakthrough Miami, Dolphins Challenge Cancer, Pro Sports Assembly, Urban League of Broward County, Women of Tomorrow, and YWCA Miami.
He also often spoke to civic groups in the area.
“Our hearts are broken and mourn the loss of a man who was a dear and beloved friend to so many,” Dolphins Vice President, President and CEO Tom Garfinkel said. “Jason faithfully served the Dolphins organization for 14 years, was a beacon in the community, a pioneer and champion for others, and most importantly, treated people with a kindness and dignity that left a lasting mark. on everyone he met.
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