The Big Ten’s commissioner may find his next job opportunity back in the NFL.
Commissioner Kevin Warren has reportedly emerged as a top candidate to become the next president and CEO of the Chicago Bears. Warren – who has previous NFL experience with the Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions, and St. Louis Rams — is one of the final candidates to be considered for the position.
“We have not set a timeline for announcing Ted Phillips’ successor,” the Bears said in a statement Thursday. Phillips will retire after the 2022 season and has held his position since 1999.
- Warren has already conducted in-person interviews with the Bears organization.
- The attorney-turned-commissioner was instrumental in the Vikings’ move into U.S. Bank Stadium in 2016.
- Bears personnel believe Warren could help transition the team into a new stadium.
- The franchise is expected to finish its search for a new president in the coming weeks.
The Big Ten released a statement regarding Warren’s candidacy, which noted that Warren “regularly receives unique opportunities and requests for his expertise.”
Warren played a key role in securing a new blockbuster media rights deal for the Big Ten in August. The conference agreed to a deal with FOX, CBS, NBC, and NBC’s Peacock worth at least $7 billion – the largest media rights pact in all of college sports. The deal proves to be valuable as the Big Ten will add football powerhouses USC and UCLA in 2024.
Warren, who was hired as the Big Ten’s commissioner in 2019, was the first Black commissioner of a Power 5 conference.
Earlier this month, the UC Regents decided that it will not block UCLA from joining the Big Ten.
The move could come with a hefty price as the regents could mandate UCLA to pay UC Berkeley a subsidy of $2 million to $10 million following the Pac-12’s newest media deal.