Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren “Strong Candidate” to Succeed Ted Phillips as Chicago Bears President (UPDATES)

bears president Kevin warren
bears president Kevin warren

We learned in September that Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips would be retiring after the 2022 season, marking the end of an era that started in 1983 when Phillips joined the Bears organization. Phillips was promoted to his current role in 1999.

As Luis pointed out in a previous story this fall, there have been rumors that Phillips was nearing the end of his time with the Bears, but they never happened, until now. Phillips won’t officially retire until the end of the season, but Dan Pompei of The Athletic reported it with certainty in September.

In a story this afternoon at ESPN, Pete Thamel (ESPN’s College Football Senior Writer) reported that Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren “has emerged as a strong candidate to be the next president of the Chicago Bears.” Adam Schefter thereafter shared Thamel’s report, for what that’s worth.

“Warren is one of the final candidates in the Bears’ search for the team’s next president/CEO and remains engaged after a lengthy search, with sources telling ESPN that he’s a serious enough candidate that he interviewed in person.”

Warren has spent time in the NFL, most recently with the Minnesota Vikings, serving as their chief operating officer. According to Thamel, Warren played a significant role in the Vikings building U.S. Bank Stadium, a task that the Bears are approaching in the coming years with 326 acres of land in Arlington Heights as the proposed location for a new stadium in the Chicago suburbs.

Warren also has experience in the NFL as an agent, and has helped the Big Ten add USC and UCLA to their conference and helped land a $7 billion television deal in recent months.

Here is Thamel’s full story over at ESPN:

UPDATE: The Bears and the Big Ten have released statements on the story this afternoon, both of which you can read below:

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Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

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