TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers team president and senior executive Gay Culverhouse died Wednesday at her home in Fernandina Beach from complications from bone marrow cancer, the New York Times reported. She was 73.
“We are saddened to hear of the passing of Gay Culverhouse earlier this week,” Buccaneers owner and co-chairman Bryan Glazer said in a statement to ESPN. “During her family’s ownership of the Buccaneers, Gay was a leading figure in and around the Tampa Bay community who was defined by her compassion for helping others. Her tireless work as an advocate for retired NFL players is also an important part of her personal legacy. We send our heartfelt condolences to her children, Leigh and Chris, and the entire Culverhouse family.”
Culverhouse, the daughter of late Buccaneers owner Hugh Culverhouse, spent eight years with the Buccaneers after working as an instructor at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, specializing in child psychiatry. She left the organization in 1994.
Culver was inspired by Tom McHale, a former Bucs player who suffered a chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease, to advocate for injured players.
In 2006, she testified before the House Judiciary Committee at a hearing on football brain injuries.
“My men have headaches that never stop. They cannot remember where they are going or what they want to say without writing it down. Some are on government welfare. Some are addicted to pain medication. Some are dead,” she said.
According to reports, Culverhouse died from myelofibrosis, a type of bone marrow cancer that disrupts the body’s normal production of blood cells.
She is survived by her daughter, son, her brother, Hugh Jr. and several grandchildren.