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Chicago Bears considering Big Ten head Kevin Warren for team president

Dec 3, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA;  Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren presents the championship trophy to Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh following their 43-22 victory against Purdue in the Big Ten Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears are strongly considering making Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren their next team president, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

The Bears are seeking to replace longtime president and CEO Ted Phillips, 65, who previously announced he would retire at the end of the season.

ESPN said Warren, 59, is one of the “final candidates” for the position and has interviewed in person for the job.

The Bears have been tight-lipped about the hiring process.

“We have not set a timeline for announcing Ted Phillips’ successor,” the Bears said in a statement Thursday, per ESPN. “Our search team has cast a wide net, spoken to many outstanding candidates and looks forward to introducing our next President and CEO at the process’s conclusion.”

The Big Ten hired Warren in 2020, and his accomplishments include signing a media-rights deal reportedly worth more than $7 billion and setting the stage to bring UCLA and Southern California into the conference.

Warren was a practicing attorney in Kansas City when the St. Louis Rams hired him to a legal/front-office position in 1997. He moved up in the organization and in 2000 was named vice president of football administration.

In 2001, he was hired by the Detroit Lions in a senior-level front-office role; then, in 2003, he returned to the law profession and helped Zygi Wilf and partners to buy the Minnesota Vikings. When the deal was done, he became the team’s executive price president of legal affairs and chief administrative officer, later promoted to chief operating officer.

Part of his experience with the Vikings that could appeal to the Bears was his participation in the planning of U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened on July 22, 2016. The Bears could decide to leave old Soldier Field in Chicago and build a stadium on 326 acres in suburban Arlington Heights.

–Field Level Media