Kevin Warren: 'I left the Big Ten in a demonstratively better position'

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) – During his childhood, Kevin Warren was often told by his parents that every task he faced should be left “demonstratively better” when he was done with it than it was before.

It was with this in his mind that Warren recently pondered his next career move, which turned out to be leaving his post as Big Ten commissioner to become the Bears’ new president/CEO. As he reflected, Warren felt confident in the work he had done leading the Big Ten through challenges and believed he was best-suited for the new opportunity at Halas Hall.

“I just felt in 40 months there, for us to be able to come in and handle the pandemic in a manner that I thought kept our student-athletes healthy and safe, for us to be a leader in social justice initiatives, for us to be a leader in the mental health space, for us to be able set records from a television network creativity standpoint, and to be able to expand with USC and UCLA, I would say I left the Big Ten in a demonstratively better position,” Warren said Tuesday at his introductory press conference with the Bears.

“I just felt like I had made the impact at the Big Ten at that point in time, it's in a phenomenal position, and someone else should be afforded that opportunity to recognize their dreams. And to be blessed to have the Chicago Bears at this point in time with the challenges that they're facing, but the huge opportunities and the work that it's going to take. It was time to be able to go.”

Warren will take over for the retiring Ted Phillips, who has been in his role with the Bears for the last 24 seasons. Phillips had initially set a retirement date of Feb. 28, but he now plans to stay on longer to allow Warren a clean transition from the Big Ten.

Warren plans to formally begin his role with the Bears in April. Until then, he’ll continue working as Big Ten commissioner while also keeping a close eye on Bears business.

“In my mind, I’ve started (with the Bears),” Warren said.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.

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