Former Top A&M Official, Friend of Perry Critically Hurt in Motorcycle Crash

By: Jamie Burch, News Director Email
By: Jamie Burch, News Director Email


  • March 2013-Present: Veterans Services, Texas Health and Human Services Commission
  • September 2012 - March 2013: Assistant Director of Homeland Security, Texas Department of Public Safety
  • May - September 2012: Executive Director, Texas Department of Juvenile Justice
  • February - May 2012: Assistant Director of Homeland Security, Texas Department of Public Safety
  • January - September 2011: Deputy Chancellor, Texas A&M University System
  • September 2010 - January 2011: Restructure Council, Texas Department of Transportation 
  • September 2009 - August 2010: Advisor, Texas A&M University Board of Regents
  • June 2008 - August 2009: Chief of Staff. Governor Rick Perry
  • May 2007- June 2008: Deputy Chancellor, Texas A&M University System
  • March 2007 - May 2007: Conservator, Texas Youth Commissioner
  • July 2006 - March 2007: Deputy General Counsel, Texas A&M University System
  • July 2005 - August 2006: Office of Special Investigations, Texas Attorney General
  • October 2004 - June 2005: Deputy Chief of Staff, Governor Rick Perry
  • January 2004 - September 2004: Homeland Security, Governor Rick Perry
  • January 2003 - December 2003: Deputy Chief of Staff, Texas Attorney General
  • July 2001 - January 2003: Criminal Justice Division, Governor Rick Perry
  • March 2000 - July 2001: Executive Director, Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse
  • October 1997 - February 2000: Executive Director, Texas Commission on Private Security


NEAR NAVASOTA - A former Deputy Chancellor of the Texas A&M System and close friend of Governor Rick Perry is in critical condition after a motorcycle accident Friday evening.

Friday, Jay Kimbrough crashed his 2009 Harley Davidson just before 6:00 p.m. on Highway 6 near Navasota.

State Troopers say the 66-year-old was a few miles south of town when, according to witnesses, he drove into the grass median and over a crossover. That caused his motorcycle to flip over several times. Kimbrough was ejected, but was wearing a helmet.

He was flown to St. Joseph Hospital in Bryan where he remains listed in critical condition as of Saturday evening.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation by the Texas Highway Patrol.

Kimbrough's daughter, Melissa Beardsley, posted this comment on our Facebook page: "Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers."

Someone who worked with Kimbrough during his time with the Texas A&M System left this comment on

"Jay Kimbrough is an amazing person. He is tough on the outside and he has a 'heart of gold'. He has done great things for the A&M System and the state. Our prayers are with Jay and his family."

Kimbrough is currently employed by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission where he deals with veterans services. It is "a topic he’s very passionate about," according to Stephanie Goodman, the Director of Communications for the THHSC.

"We are all pulling for Jay," said Goodman. "He's an amazing guy with an uncanny ability to get right to the heart of an issue. You can't imagine how many veterans he's helped to get services, resolve problems and navigate government programs. He's also stubborn as a mule, and I hope that never-say-never attitude helps him make a full recovery."

Kimbrough was fired by the Texas A&M System in September 2011 after his position was eliminated by current Chancellor John Sharp.

Before his career with the state, Kimbrough was a member of the military. He enlisted in the Marines Corps in 1966. In May of 1967, his helicopter was shot down. Kimbrough was badly wounded and he earned a Purple Heart.

Fellow Vietnam Veteran, Cord Switzer, says “I have worked with him (on) several projects. Basic philosophy - lead, follow or get the heck out of the way. Could not be a better guy to have on your team and to cover your back. Our prayers are also with Jay and Family.”

Kimbrough is a charter member of the Brazos Valley Marine Corps League Detachment.

"We would like everyone to know that Jay is first and foremost a U.S. Marine," said Teresa Carpenter, Commandant of the Brazos Valley Marine Corps League Detachment. "He will fight the battle and our prayers are with him and his family. To the Kimbrough family, if there is anything we can do please contact me We stand ready. Semper Fidelis!"

In 2011, Texas Monthly named Kimbrough one of the most powerful people in the state, calling him "The Fixer" because Governor Perry would regularly slot him into roles when agencies needed help.

"In 2007 Perry named Kimbrough conservator of the Texas Youth Commission, which oversees the state’s youth lockups, after a sex abuse scandal left the agency in disarray," the article read. "The plainspoken Vietnam veteran rode his Harley to far-flung TYC facilities for personal inspections. He was blunt about which heads had to roll—quite a few—and reporters ate it up."

Kimbrough has served as the judge of Bee County, and has held positions with the Texas Commission on Private Security, the Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse and TxDOT, among other jobs.

"Jay has spent most of his life serving the citizens of the State of Texas," said Cullen Grissom with Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service - Law Enforcement Extension program. "He is a big law enforcement advocate and leader in Texas government. (We) wish him a speedy, full recovery."

Steve Fullhart and Sylvia Villarreal contributed to this story.

Austin American-Statesman - Jay Kimbrough

Courtesy: Austin American-Statesman

Dallas Morning News - Jay Kimbrough with Gov. Rick Perry

Courtesy: The Dallas Morning News

Kimbrough in Vietnam


Kimbrough at the Corpus Christi Naval Hospital


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