Kevin Warren is leaving Big Ten Commissioner post for NFL

The Big Ten is searching for its seventh Commissioner after the Chicago Bears announced on Thursday Kevin Warren will become their next CEO and President.

Warren had been with the Big Ten since June 2019 but recently was not given a contract extension by the league according to a report by ESPN’s Pete Thamel.

The Big Ten acknowledged Warren’s key accomplishments in a statement.

“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,” the conference said in a release.  “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.”

Warren was also seen as controversial in 2020 when the Big Ten cancelled its football season during the pandemic while other leagues pushed forward.  The initial decision was made in haste, and the Big Ten ultimately had to revisit that move and play a shortened schedule.

Reports surfaced in late December Warren was a strong candidate for the Bears position.  According to Thamel, Warren was not popular among the conference’s athletic directors, and there was no internal push to retain him.

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