It was announced Thursday morning that Kevin Warren would be stepping down from his role as commissioner of the Big Ten to accept a job as the president and CEO of the NFL’s Chicago Bears.
In January 2020, Warren became the first African-American commissioner in the history of American student-sports conferences, taking over the reigns of the Big Ten. After three years in that role, the 59-year-old will now make his way over to the NFL, a league that he’s very familiar with.
Starting in 1997 as the Vice president of player programs & football legal counsel for the St. Louis Rams, Warren has 23 years of experience in the NFL, culminating in his five-year stint as Chief operating officer with the Minnesota Vikings from 2015-2019.
In Chicago, Warren will replace outgoing president and CEO Ted Phillips, who retired following the Bears’ 3-14 season in 2022. Although the team had an abysmal record, the Bears are one of the more exciting teams to watch this offseason as they possess the top selection in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft as well as over $110 million in cap space.
On the flip side, as of right now, there’s no news out of the Big Ten for a potential successor for Warren as the new conference commissioner. With UCLA and USC set to join the Big Ten in the near future, the new commissioner will be working with the largest collection of teams in conference history.