As Expected,. Sports Lawyer Kevin Warren Leaves Big Ten for President Post at Chicago Bears
Kevin Warren, a sports lawyer who rose within the ranks of the Minnesota Vikings (initially in the GC’s office) before assuming the Commissioner job at the Big Ten Conference, has moved back to the NFL.
Specifically, Warren was named President of the Chicago Bears.
Predictably, the conference was disappointed, but wished him well nonetheless. In a statement, it said:
“The Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COP/C) for the Big Ten Conference is grateful to Commissioner Kevin Warren for his valuable service to the conference and its member institutions over the past three years. He has guided the conference with an innovative spirit, a passion for people and exceptional business acumen.
Commissioner Warren was pivotal in the expansion from 14-to-16 academic and athletic member institutions and leading the media rights negotiations for the conference. He has been dedicated to building inclusion and equity in the conference while championing mental health and wellness. We thank him for his service and wish him the very best in his new endeavor as the president and chief executive officer of the Chicago Bears.
The Big Ten Conference remains in a position of strength during this pivotal time in collegiate athletics and its world-class institutions remain committed to providing an exceptional experience for our student-athletes. The COP/C will work with Commissioner Warren during this transition phase and begin a national search for the seventh Big Ten Conference Commissioner.”
Meanwhile, the Bears shared the following quotes from ownership and Warren in a press release:
“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,” said Bears Chairman George H. McCaskey. “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.”
“Kevin is going to be a tremendous resource and I am excited to get started with him,” said general manager Ryan Poles. “In my time spent with him during the interview process, it quickly became apparent his resumé and business acumen will be a powerful asset to helping improve our organization and ultimately reach our goal to be a championship organization.”
Warren will begin official club business in the spring.
“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.”
“It was important to ensure the Bears had the right leader in place before I retired,” Phillips said. “Kevin will do an excellent job of bringing the best out of the great people at Halas Hall and continue the evolution of our proud franchise.”