LAKES FOREST, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) Could we one day look back on this as the day, January 17, 2023, as the day that the Chicago Bears franchise turned around on the road to becoming something special? That will be the case if Kevin Warren achieves his goals, now that he’s in charge.
“It is with pride and a grateful heart that I present the next president and chief executive officer of the Chicago Bears, Kevin Warren,” Bears’ Chairman of the Board George McCasey introduced Warren to an auditorium full of reporters at Halas Hall Tuesday.
Warren, the attorney, former player agent, former NFL executive, and most recently the Big Ten Conference Commissioner, is now “The Guy” at Halas Hall, the guy who will try to make a huge difference in the trajectory of the franchise.
“Today is special,” said Warren. “I’m excited. I’m energized, and I’m honored to stand before you today.”
“Media people have asked me why the Bears? Why this time? It’s because of the challenge, the opportunity.”
“Greatness is ahead of us. All we need to do now is go and grasp it.”
Warren’s priority, once he settles into the job full-time in April, is to make a new stadium in Arlington Heights become a reality.
“Yes, that’s the sole focus right now. 100 percent,” said Warren.
“Because I am a stadium nerd I would say even when I heard about the Arlington Park opportunity, I drove out there on my own one day just to kind of look around.”
“The unique thing about Arlington, it has some different unique factors. One is the space.”
Warren is the fifth president in franchise history. He is a rare outsider to Halas Hall, not being a part of the Halas and McCaskey family, but he reveres George Halas.
“I love that statue with George Hallas out front (of Halas Hall), and something that I will ask myself every morning walking in this building is that if he were with me would he be proud, and then when I walk out at night if he had been with me during the day would he be proud? And if I can make sure that 365 days a year that the answer is yes and yes, we’ll be okay.”
Warren has already embraced Justin Fields. The two bumped heads a bit in 2020 during the pandemic when the Big Ten canceled the football season. Fields, at Ohio State, led the plea by the players to get the season going. Warren gained respect for Fields from that experience.
“What that told me about Justin is he’s passionate. I appreciated him to be able to take that leadership role.”
“I have a strong personal relationship with him.” “I have the greatest amount of respect for him, because I know he’s going to do everything he possibly can with the talent that he has to be a leader. He wants to win championships.”
Again, Warren won’t take over at Halas Hall until April when his duties with the Big Ten are complete. Warren says he felt comfortable leaving the Big Ten because he is leaving it far better off than when he took the job of commissioner.