Kevin Warren Named Next President of the Chicago Bears: Big Ten Commish Leaves the Job After Three Years

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren has been named the next president/CEO of the Chicago Bears, the franchise announced Thursday. Warren, 59, took the Big Ten’s top job in 2020 after 22 years in NFL operations with the Los Angeles Rams, Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings.

Bears President George H. McCaskey said, “Kevin is a person of integrity, honor and excellence, all important core values ​​of the Chicago Bears, and we welcome his perspective and diverse views to lead this iconic organization ” Website). “He is a proven leader who has stepped outside his comfort zone many times to challenge the status quo for unconventional growth and prosperity. In this role, Warren will be one of the franchise’s primary leaders in helping bring home the next Super Bowl championship trophy.” Will serve in a leadership position. Home of Bears fans.”

Warren, the first black commissioner of a Power Five conference, was chief operating officer of the Vikings before joining the Big Ten, where he led the conference during a time of turmoil in college athletics. While his tenure with the Big Ten was first affected by the league’s early decision to cancel the 2020 football season amid the COVID-19 pandemic (a move that was later reversed with a delayed start for the league tha), there have been some notable successes. last few years.

The Big Ten successfully recruited USC and UCLA from the Pac-12 as its newest members, with California powers joining the league in 2024. About $1.2 billion annually.

Warren said (via the team website) “I am honored and recognize the responsibility placed upon me to lead the Chicago Bears during this exciting and pivotal time.” “I look forward to building on the rich tradition that began with George Halas and connecting with the unique and vibrant fans in Chicago. I look forward to joining the Chicago Bears with gratitude and drive to continue and carry forward the legacy and spirit of this founding franchise.” I join. my predecessors. This is a franchise that is respected in all of professional sports, and I am delighted to be selected as the next President and CEO of the Chicago Bears. I would like to thank Virginia McCaskey, George McCaskey, the McCaskey family, Ted Phillips and sincerely thank the Search team for the responsibility and trust placed in me to lead the Chicago Bears and deliver a championship in Chicago.”

What’s next for the bears?

Ted Phillips, who has been the Bears’ president and CEO since 1999, is retiring in February after 40 seasons with one of the NFL’s oldest franchises. Given his NFL experience and the Big Ten’s headquarters are in Rosemont, Illinois – just outside of Chicago – it’s natural for Warren to lead the franchise.

Warren’s term in Chicago will begin on April 17. per ESPN,

Phillips said (via the team’s website), “It was important to make sure the Bears had the right leader before I retired.” “Kevin will do an excellent job of bringing the best of the great to the Halas Hall and continue to grow our proud franchise.”

The Bears are eyeing a new stadium in the coming years, and Warren’s experience overseeing a stadium deal for the Vikings makes him the perfect fit for the franchise’s biggest upcoming project.

Warren Bears hold the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft after posting a league-worst 3-14 record. While Chicago didn’t find much on-field success in 2022 under first-year head coach Matt Eberflus, it did see Justin Fields make a huge jump as quarterback.

The former No. 11 overall pick threw for 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 15 games played, and he became just the third quarterback in NFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season, since Fields. racked up 1,143. yards and eight touchdowns. General manager Ryan Poles has done a solid job setting Chicago up for this rebuild, as the Bears have seven picks in the 2023 draft.

“Kevin is going to be a tremendous resource and I’m excited to get started with him,” said general manager Ryan Poles (via the team website). “In my time spent with him during the interview process, it quickly became apparent that his resume and business acumen would be a powerful asset to help improve our organization and ultimately reach our goal of becoming a championship organization.” Will go.”

What’s next for the Big Ten?

The conference will enter its second commissioner search in the last four seasons, marking an unprecedented turnover in the position after decades of stability. Warren’s predecessor, Jim Delaney, announced in March 2019 that he planned to retire after having held the role since 1989.

The Big Ten is the latest Power Five league to undergo a change in its top position. Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark was named to his position this year on June 29, while ACC commissioner Jim Phillips and Pac-12 commissioner George Klyavkoff are in their roles through 2021. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey was promoted in 2015, making him the longest-serving Power Five commissioner by a wide margin.

Although the Big Ten has navigated COVID-19, conference realignment and a new media rights deal under Warren, plenty of challenges remain for the conference. The integration of USC and UCLA would require a deft hand to navigate the league. Nationally, the future of name, image and likeness rules looms large in college sports, and the Big Ten commissioner — whoever it will be — should be an important voice in that conversation as one of the top two conferences in the country. Be as the leader of. sec.

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