Bears President and CEO Kevin Warren was honored Tuesday at a luncheon in Orlando as a member of the College Sports Communicators Academic All-America Hall of Fame's Class of 2023.
The event took place at the World Center Marriott Resort in conjunction with the annual CSC Unite convention.
Created in 1988, the Academic All-America Hall of Fame recognizes former Academic All-Americans who received a college degree at least 10 years ago, have achieved lifetime success in their professional careers and are committed to philanthropic causes. Honorees are chosen by a select committee of CSC members, leaders and past Academic All-America Hall of Fame inductees.
"I am truly humbled by being named a member of the CSC Academic All-America Hall of Fame Class of 2023," Warren said. "Both my mother and father were educators and placed more of an emphasis on academic success than athletic achievement. I am grateful to my parents and the cadre of teachers and coaches who demanded excellence in both the classroom and on the basketball court. Thank you to the CSC for selecting me and congratulations to the other very deserving honorees."
Other members of the Class of 2023 are Andrew Cain (Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology/baseball), Rick Miller (Bentley University/soccer) and Lindsay Whalen (University of Minnesota/basketball).
Warren began his collegiate career at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a member of the Quakers' Ivy League championship basketball team in 1982. He transferred to Grand Canyon University and scored 1,118 career points, averaging 20.0 points per game. Warren earned CSC Academic All-American honors as a senior, along with NAIA academic honors as both a junior and senior. He is one of 25 members of the program's 1,000-point club and was inducted into the GCU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.
Warren graduated in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in business administration and went on to earn an MBA from Arizona State in 1988 and a law degree from Notre Dame in 1990. He spent 21 seasons in the NFL, including 15 with the Minnesota Vikings, where he served as the chief operating officer, the highest-ranking Black executive working on the business side for an NFL team and the first Black COO in league history. He also worked in the front offices of the Detroit Lions and the St. Louis Rams, winning a Super Bowl ring with the Rams in 1999.
Warren was named commissioner of the Big Ten Conference in 2019. During his tenure, he led negotiations for groundbreaking media rights deals, helped spearhead the addition of UCLA and USC to the conference, established the Big Ten Mental Health and Wellness Cabinet and was a leader throughout the college sports landscape during the pandemic in social justice.
In January 2023, Warren was named the president and CEO of the Bears.
In 2012, the Warren family "adopted" Lucy Craft Laney Community School in Minneapolis, donating over 900 backpacks to students. The Warrens created Carolyn's Comforts in 2014 in conjunction with the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital and have donated $1 million to a pediatric emergency care fund to honor the legacy of his sister Carolyn Elaine Warren-Knox, who passed away due to brain cancer.
In 2017, the Warrens launched "No Doors Closed," a scholarship program selecting high school students from District 191 who will be first-generation college students. The Warrens also started The Warren Family Foundation in 2019. The nonprofit foundation is organized and operated to empower the journeys of curious, creative and committed young people.