Kevin Warren (WGN News Youtube Screenshot)

Chicago Bears Hire Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren As CEO and President

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On Thursday morning, the Chicago Bears made a power move and hired Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren as the organization’s new CEO and President.

So Warren is moving back to the NFL and making history once again.

Warren spent over two decades in the NFL, 15 with the Minnesota Vikings, where he eventually rose to become COO. That made him the highest-ranking Black team executive and the first Black COO in league history.

In 2019, he was named as the successor to Big Ten commissioner Kevin Delaney and when he officially assumed the role in 2020, he became the first Black commissioner of a Power Five conference.

After starting his tenure with the Big Ten, the pandemic hit and Warren, along with his counterpart at the Pac-12, decided to cancel the fall season. But after much pushback, they rescinded and began the season in late October.

While it wasn’t the smoothest start, his detractors were silenced as the Big Ten continued to succeed nationally, particularly in football, where Ohio State and Michigan made the College Football Playoff four straight years.

But his biggest accomplishment arrived in the summer of 2022 when he snatched UCLA and USC away from the Pac-12 and then proceeded to sign the biggest conference media rights deal in history. That deal, signed with CBS Sports, FOX Sports and NBC Sports, will see the Big Ten paid roughly $1 billion annually over seven years beginning in July 2023.

Continue reading over at First and Pen.

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