Vikings COO Kevin Warren Named 6th Commissioner of Big Ten Conference: Highest-ranking African-American executive on business side for an NFL team; 1st African-American COO in NFL history

(Photo) Facebook: Kevin Warren, the first black commissioner of a Power Five conference

(ROSEMONT, Illinois – June 5, 2019) – The Big Ten Conference Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COP/C) announced Tuesday that Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren has been named the sixth commissioner of the Big Ten Conference. He will start on Sept. 16, 2019, to take full advantage of an opportunity to transition alongside Commissioner Jim Delany, who will officially step down on Jan. 1, 2020, following a 30-year career with the conference.

Warren has been with the Vikings since 2005 and was promoted to COO on Feb. 12, 2015. He is the highest-ranking African-American executive working on the business side for a team in the NFL and is the first African-American COO in NFL history.

Vikings Owners Mark and Zygi Wilf released the following statement:

“Kevin has impacted the Vikings and our family in immeasurable ways over the last 15 years. He has worked tirelessly to elevate the Vikings franchise, all with the greater good of the organization and Minneapolis-St. Paul in mind. From the very onset, Kevin helped us navigate and execute the purchase of the franchise. He then evolved as a leader of the organization in ways we never could have imagined, leading our vision for U.S. Bank Stadium and TCO Performance Center, developing a world-class fan experience, and implementing many initiatives that have transformed our franchise with the benefit of our employees and Vikings fans top of mind. Kevin has been a tremendous leader for the Vikings, and he and his family have been passionately and intricately involved in the community, enhancing the lives of so many people. We know the Big Ten and their student-athletes, coaches, and administrators are extremely fortunate to have his leadership, character, and vision and we wish Kevin and the Warren family all the best. We will work with Kevin and the Vikings management team over the next three months to help us through this transition and process how we want to move forward.” – Mark & Zygi Wilf

The following is from the Big Ten’s official press release:

“Kevin is a visionary leader, an experienced, successful and highly respected executive, and a skilled communicator who is uniquely positioned to continue the traditions of excellence that have become synonymous with the Big Ten Conference,” said Michael A. McRobbie, president of Indiana University and chair of the executive search committee. “Over a remarkable and pioneering career, he has developed a reputation among his peers and colleagues as an individual of enormous character, integrity, knowledge and passion, who has dedicated the majority of his professional career to the empowerment of young people and the positive impact athletics can have on improving lives and our society.” READ IN FULL