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Chicago Bears hire Ted Crews as special advisor to the President/CEO, chief administrative officer

The Chicago Bears have hired Ted Crews as special advisor to the President/CEO and chief administrative officer. He boasts 26 years of NFL experience, including the last 12 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.

In his new role, Crews will oversee all corporate and football communications, as well as the digital and social media, content and production and brand creative departments. He will work closely with President/CEO Kevin Warren and the executive leadership team to enhance the Bears' brand initiatives, streamline operations and ensure consistent messaging internally and externally.

Story by Larry Mayer

When he met with George H. McCaskey, Kevin Warren, Ryan Poles, Matt Eberflus and team executives last month at Halas Hall to discuss the possibility of joining the Bears, Ted Crews was captivated by their passion and energy and enthralled by the vision of the team's future they shared with him.

One of the main reasons that Crews accepted a newly created position with the Bears was the opportunity to work with the organization's four leaders, the senior leadership team and the entire organization. But there's another quartet of people that Crews is excited to embark on his new journey in Chicago with: his wife, Michelle, and their children T.J., Olivia and Dean.

Because faith and family come first for Crews, he was grateful that the Bears invited Michelle and their three kids to join him on his visit to Halas Hall.

"It meant everything to me, literally everything," Crews said. "It just affirmed to me what George and Kevin are about, and it is the same thing that I am about: plugging into people and how they are wired and what is important to them. Kevin knows how much my family means to me and that the decision [to join the Bears] would be a family decision. And so for George and Kevin to allow that to happen, it showed me a lot and meant a lot."

For the last 12 years, the Crews family has lived in Kansas City, where Ted was Chiefs executive vice president of communications and part of three Super Bowl titles. They moved there when T.J.—now a freshman quarterback at the University of Kansas—and Olivia—a high school junior—were in second grade and kindergarten, respectively. It's not easy to uproot and relocate to another city, but seeing firsthand what the opportunity in Chicago entailed helped convince each family member that it was the right move.

"I cannot thank Kevin and George enough," Crews said. "I mean, who gets to bring their family on a job interview? They were able to see the city for themselves and see the facility for themselves and meet the people. They walked away from it saying, 'Wow, dad, this is really special. This is an amazing opportunity for you.' My wife felt the same way. We do not do anything independent of each other, and so when I felt the Lord was leading us to Chicago and shared it, they were very excited. They are really happy about what is next for us as a family on our journey."

Crews first met Warren at a league meeting more than a decade ago when Crews was St. Louis Rams senior director of communications and Warren was Minnesota Vikings chief operating officer.

At the time, Crews held what he had envisioned as a dream job: running an NFL team's media relations department. But Warren challenged him to think bigger.

"I told him what I did and he said, 'What is next, what are your aspirations?'" Crews said. "I said, 'I am doing it. I am doing the job that I dreamed of doing.' Then he said, 'You are certainly not done. You better think that through. You need to expand your dreams and prepare for your dreams to become reality.'"

During their brief initial meeting, Warren planted a seed in Crews' mind that has continued to grow.

"Literally he just left that thought that I never thought about," Crews said. "He challenged me to continue to think and strive to be more than I was and continue to learn and continue to seek growth, and he has been a champion of that for me as he has done for so many others over the years. He has become a real mentor, a real friend. He is a phenomenal human being, but he is also one of the finest leaders in sports, he is very demanding and he believes enough in me to present this opportunity to me."

Warren is thrilled about hiring Crews, who joined the Chiefs as vice president of communications in 2012 and was promoted to executive vice president of communications in 2021.

"We are incredibly fortunate and blessed to have Ted join the Chicago Bears family," Warren said. "Ted has an exemplary NFL track record and his success clearly displays his capability to lead complex communication strategies with adeptness while building a strong administrative environment. His leadership qualities, combined with a deep understanding of the broad NFL communications landscape, will be instrumental in advancing our aggressive organizational vision and objectives. I am grateful to our chairman George H. McCaskey and the McCaskey family for providing me with a platform to hire Ted for this critically important role. The ability to leverage the vast expertise and leadership of Ted Crews will be massively impactful with building a progressive Chicago Bears franchise."

During his Halas Hall visit, Crews and his wife met with McCaskey.

"I really enjoyed my time with George," Crews said. "Sitting with him and hearing the passion that he has about the Bears, obviously it is a love for him, it is a family business, but more than that he believes in family. It was really encouraging to hear how much he cares because his heart is really what drew Michelle and I in in the time that we were able to spend with him."

Crews is also excited to reunite with Poles, who spent 13 seasons in the Chiefs personnel department before becoming Bears general manager in 2022.

"Ryan is one of the finest football executives in the league," Crews said. "He is a great person. He is a great husband. He is a great father. He loves football. But most importantly, he is a friend. Him being [with the Bears] does mean a lot. I think he is doing great things here in Chicago. It never hurts to have people in the building that you know, that you care about, and that are part of the excitement. That was extremely appealing too."

The chance to work with Eberflus, who is entering his third season as coach, was appealing for Crews as well. The two have mutual friends and knew of each other but hadn't really talked at length until Crews' recent visit to Halas Hall.

"I really enjoyed getting to know him as a man," Crews said. "You can see why players like playing for him. He is a man of God. He is a great leader of men. I love the fact that he has a selfless mindset with regard to his relationships with George, Kevin and Ryan. That is part of how you build that culture that is getting put in place here with the Bears."

Although Crews has never lived in Chicago, he has ties to the city and the Bears. As a third grader growing up in Columbia, Md., he cheered for the famed 1985 Super Bowl XX championship team.

"That was my first favorite football team, the first team I remember following," Crews said. "When you have Walter Payton, Jim McMahon and the Fridge, I was into that team. I remember watching that team vividly, watching the NFC Championship Game when the snow started falling and the defense turned it up. So you are talking about a place where there is familiarity and a built-in affinity."

Once every six years, Crews and his family drove from Maryland to Evanston to attend family reunions, which were held every other year and rotated between Evanston, Philadelphia and South Carolina. His family crest is displayed at Chicago's DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center, where their first reunion was held in 1960.

In joining the Bears, Crews is eager to show that it's possible to advance with an NFL team from the communications department to become a special advisor to the president/CEO and chief administrative officer.

"Kevin and George saying that my skill set is what they want for this job means more than anything because it opens the door for other EVPs and SVPs of communication to do the same thing," Crews said. "One of my prayers is that this opens the door for my colleagues around the league to have the same opportunities."

One of Crews' close friends, Jason Jenkins, was on his way to landing a prominent position in a team's front office. But Jenkins passed away suddenly Aug. 27, 2022, at the age of 47. At the time, he was a senior vice president of communications and community affairs with the Miami Dolphins who oversaw the organization's media outreach, public relations, social media and community efforts.

"Jason was on the path," Crews said. "He had been given a lot of these type of responsibilities with the Dolphins. It is also a great legacy piece for Jason, his family and his children, that he was somebody that inspired me to think outside the box."

Crews entered the NFL with the Carolina Panthers as an intern (1998-99) before serving as a media relations assistant (2000-04). He later worked for the Atlanta Falcons as football communications manager (2005-08) and the Rams as senior director of communications (2009-11) before joining the Chiefs.

Now that he's en route to Chicago, Crews is excited about what the future holds for the Bears and is thrilled to become a part of it. He intends to apply what he learned in Kansas City to his new position at Halas Hall.

"I learned that team, selflessness and working together really lends itself to success," Crews said. "My goal is that every decision I make, everything I do, will be in the best interest of the Chicago Bears. I learned those tenets [in Kansas City] and I felt that same energy when I met with the leadership of the Bears, which really excites me about the future."

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