Rosemount, Ill. (KROC AM News) – Former Minnesota Vikings Cheif Operating Officer Kevin Warren was named the sixth commissioner of the Big Ten Conference was named Tuesday afternoon

Warren will begin in September fo 2019 and will have a few months to learn and work with Commissioner Jim Delany, who will officially step down on January 1, 2020, after 30 years with the conference.

Warren has worked with the Minnesota Vikings since 2005 and is the first African-American COO in NFL History.

“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.”

“After an extensive national search that brought forth a wonderful group of highly qualified candidates, we were thrilled to recruit Kevin Warren to be our next commissioner,” said Michael V. Drake, president of The Ohio State University and a member of the executive search committee. “We were all impressed with Kevin’s broad experience, his extraordinary level of commitment and his vision for our collective future. My colleagues and I all look forward to working closely with him to support and advance the Big Ten. This is an important moment for our conference and for intercollegiate athletics. Kevin is the right person at the right time to lead us forward.”

Warren’s experience in all facets of the Vikings’ organization played a crucial role in building the right foundation for him to lead the Big Ten Conference.

“I am absolutely honored to become the sixth commissioner of the Big Ten, a conference with such rich history, tradition, and respect,” said Warren. “The opportunity is an incredible and unique blend of my lifelong passion, commitment and experience. Positively impacting the lives of young adults has always been part of the fabric of my family and I will work tirelessly with our member schools to ensure that we are providing every possible best in class resource to enhance our students’ educational and athletic experience, as well as empower them for success upon graduation. Jim Delany, our presidents, chancellors, athletic administrators, and coaches have created an extremely strong culture and foundation from which to build. I am very grateful to work alongside Jim as I transition into my role and work to hold true the respected values of the Big Ten, as we propel our conference into the future.”

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