Sat, 28 Jan 2023

They Said It: Kevin Warren

Chicago Bears
21 Jan 2023, 00:37 GMT+10

Below are testimonials from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Big Ten athletic directors, Super Bowl champions, business executives and more about new Bears President and CEO Kevin Warren:

NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell:

"Kevin Warren is an accomplished sports executive who most recently made an historic impact with the Big Ten. Before that though he distinguished himself in executive roles with the Rams, Lions, and Vikings. He is a leader and people-person who will do great things for the Chicago Bears and the greater Chicago area. It's great to have him back in the League."

Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith:

"I'd like to congratulate Kevin Warren on his being named President and CEO of the Chicago Bears. I know returning to the NFL, where he worked 21 years for three organizations, was a dream of his and I wish him all of the best. I would also like to thank Kevin for his leadership within college athletics these last three years and specifically within the Big Ten Conference, where he was so successful in guiding expansion efforts with the addition of USC and UCLA and with securing a landmark TV distribution agreement. He had a genuine appreciation for our student-athletes, and his focus on their health, safety and welfare was warmly received and felt conference-wide."

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University of Wisconsin Director of Athletics Chris McIntosh:

"I've enjoyed getting to know Commissioner Warren over the last few years and I'm incredibly happy for him as he takes on a new challenge. He has been extremely gracious to me and my family and I appreciated the way he welcomed me into the Big Ten leadership group. Our conference is in a strong position and set up for continued success in an ever-changing collegiate landscape. He is a class individual and we wish him well."

University of Nebraska Athletic Director Trev Alberts:

"I have enjoyed working and collaborating with Commissioner Warren during my time at Nebraska. First, Kevin has been a great advocate for student-athletes during a time of incredible change in college sports. Secondly, his leadership role in adding USC and UCLA to the Big Ten Conference and securing an industry-leading media rights deals are transformational decisions that have strategically positioned the Big Ten to be a leader in collegiate athletics for decades to come. I wish Kevin continued success as he moves on to his next professional challenge."

University of Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta:

"Kevin came into the league during a time of incredible change and we appreciate his leadership through the many challenges. Throughout his time, he also remained focused on the overall student-athlete experience and our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. He leaves the conference with a great foundation for the next leader, and we wish him well in the NFL."

Minnesota Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf:

"Our family holds Kevin in the highest regard as a person, a business leader and a trusted advisor. He aligned with our values and our commitment to see the Vikings organization grow and change. Through his leadership and his ability to develop people, Kevin was instrumental in helping transform the identity of this franchise. U.S. Bank Stadium and TCO Performance Center are certainly examples of how he helped build best-in-class facilities, but his impact went beyond those venues as he expanded our front office, brought diversity into every level of our organization and helped us become even more ingrained in the Minneapolis-St. Paul community. Kevin is a strategic thinker with a big vision, and he genuinely cares about people. We are thrilled for Kevin and Greta, for the McCaskey family and for the Chicago Bears organization."

University of Michigan Women's Basketball Head Coach Kim Barnes Arico:

"From the minute he became commissioner, Kevin had a direct impact on me personally, this program and Big Ten women's basketball. He gave us an immediate platform and encouraged us to use our voices. He allowed us the opportunity to fight for change throughout our conference, as well as the country during uncertain times. He truly cared about women's basketball and the direction of our league nationally. I think Big Ten women's basketball is stronger and deeper than it has ever been before, becoming the strongest conference in the country because of his leadership. He connected with me and made me feel special in my role, both as a coach and a person. As a woman, I feel like we are always fighting for equity, equality and change. We could always count on him to listen and give us those opportunities we never had before. His ability to impact so many people in so many different ways is truly one of a kind. To have someone in that position of power who truly cares speaks volumes about his character."

University of Maryland Football Head Coach Mike Locksley:

"In Kevin's time with the Big Ten, he allowed the conference to grow into this new world of sports business. He oversaw the largest collegiate TV deal across networks that allow the conference to be a leader moving into the future. He has also been a friend of the National Coalition for Minority Football Coaches. He was an ear for our organization when we launched and has given support in our growth. He opened doors that have allowed the organization to grow. The Bears secured one of the most accomplished sports executives to ever live. He has a vision for what the future of sports in Chicago. He will lead the Bears to being the cornerstone organization in the NFL."

Former Chairman, President & CEO of U.S. Bank and current CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Richard K. Davis:

"Kevin Warren is a leader of purpose and integrity. He reflects the importance of character and loyalty and will bring remarkable pride to the Bears organization through his inclusive and thoughtful leadership."

Chair, President and CEO of Sleep Number Shelly Ibach:

"Kevin is an extraordinary leader and loyal friend. He is a visionary, with the courage and capabilities to realize his goals. He builds high performance teams with integrity and a winning spirit. The great city of Chicago and The Chicago Bears franchise are so fortunate to benefit from his leadership."

Chairman of the Big Ten council of presidents/chancellors and University of Illinois Chancellor Robert Jones:

"The Big Ten has had a historic run during Kevin's tenure as our commissioner. He has led this conference forward and upward through the most concentrated and dynamic period of change college athletics has ever seen. From the worst global health crisis in living memory to ground-shaking changes in the model of amateur athletics to reorganizations and realignments of conferences - Kevin has been a visionary leader who never let us lose momentum and never let anyone forget that the health, safety and future trajectories of our student athletes were always our first and foremost priorities. Chicago Bears players, staff and fans are going to be in for a very fun ride in the years to come."

President and CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Selwyn Vickers:

"Over the past 16 years, Kevin has been closer than a brother to me. He is a man of faith first and foremost, but he possesses the rare combination of pursuing excellence, bringing others along with him and a sincere love for people to do a job everyone around him will be proud of. He is a leader that has genuine compassion and concern for the people who he serves at every level. Kevin has a constant push for consistency and excellence for the environment he leads. He has a tireless work ethic and I know he will allow others to join in."

Former Bears defensive lineman and client of Kevin Warren Chris Zorich:

"Kevin is an inspirational leader who sincerely cares about the people he works with and values their ideas and contributions. He also has a tireless work ethic and will truly be the first person in the building and the last one to leave. These attributes are what drew me to Kevin over 30 years ago and they still hold true today."

Pro Football Hall of Fame and Superbowl XXXIV winning Head Coach Dick Vermeil:

"Having had the opportunity to work for four different NFL owners, team presidents and management staffs, I feel very confident in stating I believe I know what it takes to lead an NFL franchise successfully. Kevin Warren is well prepared to do just that. He has climbed the ladder of NFL responsibilities and has excelled in each area. He has worked directly with ownerships, presidents, general managers, personnel directors, coaching staffs, and players, and has also guided the construction of a brand new NFL stadium. I doubt there is anyone out there that can duplicate Kevin's resume and performance. About the only thing he hasn't been given the opportunity to do is to be a team president. I'm very proud to be able to call Kevin Warren a very close friend. He will do and outstanding job. I'm only sorry that I'm not young enough to be his head coach.

Former CEO of American Express and current Chairman & Managing Director for General Catalyst Ken Chenault:

"Kevin Warren is a visionary leader who throughout his distinguished career has delivered outstanding results while always operating with the highest levels of integrity. Kevin is made for this job and I am confident he will be a catalytic agent of change and bring a championship to Chicago".

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