After just three years on the job, Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren is expected to leave his post to become president and CEO of the Chicago Bears.
“Kevin is a man of integrity, respect and excellence, all of which are critical core values of the Chicago Bears, and we welcome his perspective and diverse thought to lead this storied organization,” Bears Chairman George H. McCaskey said. “He is a proven leader who has many times stepped outside of his comfort zone to challenge status quo for unconventional growth and prosperity.
“In this role, Warren will serve in the primary leadership position of the franchise to help bring the next Super Bowl championship trophy home to Bears fans.”
Warren has extensive experience in the NFL, spending time in executive roles for the St. Louis Rams, Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings, where he helped orchestrate the creation of U.S. Bank Stadium, the Vikings’ current venue which was also awarded Super Bowl LII, as well as a new practice facility for the team.
“I am honored and recognize the responsibility bestowed upon me to lead the Chicago Bears during this exciting and pivotal time for the franchise,” Warren said. “I look forward to building on the rich tradition that started with George Halas and connecting with the unique and vibrant fanbase in Chicago. I join the Chicago Bears with gratitude and drive to carry out and build upon the legacy and spirit of this founding franchise and my predecessors. This is a franchise that is respected in all of professional sports, and I am humbled to be selected as the next President & CEO of the Chicago Bears.
“I sincerely thank Virginia McCaskey, George McCaskey, the McCaskey family, Ted Phillips and the search team, for the responsibility and trust placed in me to lead the Chicago Bears and deliver championships to Chicago.”
After his time with the Vikings, Warren was hired in 2020 to replace outgoing Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany. Warren’s tenure as commissioner has been a busy one, immediately faced with the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential cancelation of the 2020 football season, with Warren and the conference facing heavy criticism. The Big Ten eventually went on to play an eight-game schedule, reversing an initial decision to cancel the season.
Also during Warren’s tenure, the conference made plans to add USC and UCLA to the Big Ten beginning in 2024, and the conference also inked a seven-year media rights deal last year worth over $8 billion.
The Big Ten will now be faced with the search for a commissioner for the second time in just three years following a long period of stability under Delany, who held the role from 1989 until Warren’s hiring.