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Day in the Life: Bears President & CEO Kevin Warren

Story by Gabby Hajduk, photos by MaryKate Drews

ChicagoBears.com chronicles President & CEO Kevin Warren's 18-hour workday on New Year's Eve, when the Bears hosted their final game of the 2023 season against the Atlanta Falcons at Soldier Field.



Kevin Warren wakes up without an alarm at 4:30 a.m. It's the morning of the Bears' final home game of the season — Warren's first as the team's President and CEO.

He starts each day the same way — with prayer followed by quiet time. For 30 minutes, he lays flat in complete silence. He listens to the quiet, letting the natural thoughts in and allowing him a moment to "steel my mind."

The routine is one Warren established as an 11-year-old boy following an accident when he was hit by a car while riding his bike, putting him in traction and a full body cast for months to repair a broken femur. He spent so much time in the hospital where there was constant noise — nurses and doctors conversing, machines beeping, visitors coming in and out. Those quiet moments of serenity grounded him at a time where everything else was uncertain.

From 5:30 a.m. until 6:30 a.m., Warren goes into business mode, fitting in some administrative work and sifting through his gameday folder to plan for a long yet exhilarating day at Soldier Field.

At 6:45 a.m., Warren meets his car service down in the lobby of his apartment building and heads for the Bears' downtown Chicago office on Wacker Drive.

On the 10-minute drive, Warren admires the rare tranquility of the City of Chicago, a slight smile forming as he passes the Chicago River. He rhetorically asks "Isn't it beautiful down here? I love Chicago."

Arriving at the office just before 7:00 a.m., Warren greets the woman at the front desk with a "Happy New Year" before heading upstairs.

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During the season, Warren can only get to church on some Sundays, depending on the time and location of the Bears game. He attends team chapel on Saturday night before each game at the team hotel. With the noon kickoff at home on New Years Eve, attending church in person on the south side of Chicago wasn't an option.

Instead, Warren takes a seat in a conference room with a Bible and notepad in hand. He flips to Luke 5: 1-11 — the scripture he reviewed the night before at the Bears chapel service led by team chaplain Teddy Matthews — and pulls out the notes he took from their session.

"Lord, give me supernatural strength. Supernatural power. Supernatural wisdom." Kevin Warren

He puts in his earbuds and calls Dr. Selwyn Vickers, the President & CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, to talk through the scripture and reflect on his findings.

Warren's relationship with Dr. Vickers dates back to his tenure in Minnesota. The pair remain close and speak on the phone weekly to pray together, bonding through their faith. Further cementing Warren's relationship with Dr. Vickers was learning that Memorial Sloan is the hospital that George Halas sent Brian Piccolo to have surgery to remove his malignant tumor in 1969.

For the next 30 minutes, Warren and Dr. Vickers discuss Luke 5: 1-11, going back and forth on a key verse which details Simon, a fisherman, who is struggling to catch any fish before Jesus visits him. The next morning, Simon catches so many fish that the nets break.

"As long as it takes" is the message Warren takes away from the verse and reflects with Dr. Vickers about the sentiment. They finish their phone call off with a prayer where Warren expresses his gratitude for "an incredible year" before speaking about the New Year, saying "Lord, give me supernatural strength. Supernatural power. Supernatural wisdom."

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At 7:40 a.m., Warren heads back downstairs to the building's gym for his workout, starting with over 30 minutes on the StairMaster while listening to his 90s Mix playlist on Spotify featuring songs like "Mo Money Mo Problems" by The Notorious B.I.G, "Superstar" by Ms. Lauryn Hill and his personal favorite — "Be Happy" by Mary J. Blige.

Warren's workout jams vary based on mood, but for this session, he feels "upbeat, grateful, optimistic." Click here to listen to Kevin Warren's playlist.

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Warren focuses on hitting the gym every day each week — always in the morning. On Saturday mornings, he switches things up and attends hot yoga. His mornings are the only time of day he's guaranteed no interruptions. No urgent messages, no phone calls, no work to be done yet.

Warren pushes himself further, finishing up with a few core exercises and some weight training at 8:45 a.m.

After cooling down for a few minutes, he makes his way out of the office just before 9:00 a.m. Warren is met with the steady fall of snow and a brisk wind adding a "special feel" to his morning.

On the way home, Warren keeps his eyes on the downtown landscape. Since he moved to Chicago in August 2019, the city's beauty has not been lost on him. Every day he sees reminders of why Chicago is "the greatest city in the world."

A look at a Day in The Life of Chicago Bears President and CEO Kevin Warren during a home game day against the Falcons at Soldier Field, Sunday, December 31, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.

Warren's morning gameday routine isn't complete without one final step — a car wash.

Sunday at Soldier Field is the only day Warren drives himself to work, as he wants to soak in the gameday atmosphere as much as possible. But he will never do so without a clean car. And because he's "neurotic about cleanliness," only he can achieve the standard he has set.

So at 9:15 a.m., Warren drives over to the car wash station inside his apartment's parking garage, grabs the hose and a towel and goes to work.

Cleaning his car provides a sense of normalcy for Warren. It is something he has done his entire career. It's a task that reminds him of his youth when his parents were strict about Saturday chores like handwashing each car, cutting the grass and cleaning the house. It reminds him of his entrepreneur days in college when he ran a car wash detail company.

What once was a chore has turned into a special part of his routine, one that only comes around a handful of times each year. With only eight or nine home NFL regular-season games each season, Warren values each car wash because it symbolizes a new opportunity for his team. He can still remember washing his car before playoff games when worked for the Vikings and Rams, ecstatic about those few extra opportunities.

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Warren finally returns to his apartment at 9:30 a.m. to shower and get dressed for the game. He picks out his signature orange tie and completes the look with cufflinks.

Spending an extra moment to perfect his tie in the bathroom mirror, Warren's eyes gravitate toward a sketch of his favorite George Halas photo, which is also hung up in his office at Halas Hall. The image serves as a reminder for Warren of how the Halas and McCaskey families created an organization rooted in such rich history and tradition.

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Next to that Halas photo in his home are more sketches — one of him and his wife, Greta and one family photo. With his daughter Peri and son Powers both out of the house now, he cherishes the holiday season when his family is all in the same room.

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Right at 10:15 a.m., Warren is out the door with his suit jacket, overcoat and Louis Vuitton bag in hand. He takes the elevator down to the parking garage, jumps in his spotless car and drives down to the entrance of his apartment building.

A look at a Day in The Life of Chicago Bears President and CEO Kevin Warren during a home game day against the Falcons at Soldier Field, Sunday, December 31, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.

After he pulls in the driveway to pick up Greta, Warren takes the brief moment to open the Chicago Bears Official App, wanting to check in on the team's gameday content and experiences. Warren consumes the club's Thank You Fans project ahead of the team's annual Fan Appreciation game.

His drive to the game is his final 15-minute period of calm before the heart of his day begins and before he spends the next five hours crossing paths with thousands of people, shaking hundreds of hands and giving out tens of hugs.

He pulls into the North Garage at Soldier Field at 10:30 a.m., immediately greeted by one of the Bears' gameday security guards, who takes Warren, Greta and their guests directly to Warren's suite.

While he takes a moment to settle into the suite, Warren quickly attends to his pregame schedule and takes the elevator down to a conference room on the concourse to attend the Bears' annual Gameday Hero of the Year presentation, where nine members of the gameday staff receive honors for excelling in their roles this season.

Warren and Bears chairman George H. McCaskey congratulate this year's winners and thank them for touching the lives of hundreds of thousands of fans during the 2023 season.

At 11:30 a.m., Warren walks down to the field to do his typical lap around the entirety of the perimeter. He passes by every corner of fans and each sideline, connecting with staff, the broadcast crew, special guests, alumni, partners and more.

That lap has its meanings. It allows him to experience the energy of the stadium, connect with the team and staff, gauge the players' vibe and from a business standpoint, get a good feel of the turf, check out the videoboard and assess the sound system.

As Warren walks around the south end zone, he immediately notices Falcons running back and former Bear Cordarrelle Patterson. Warren, who was with the Vikings when they drafted Patterson in 2013, greets the veteran with a smile from ear to ear before they share a long embrace.

Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson and Kevin Warren.
Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson and Kevin Warren.

Heading toward the Bears sideline, Warren feels the love from fans as they yell out to him: "Let's go Mr. Warren," "Bear Down," and "Mr. Warren, we love you."

Warren engages with as many fans as he can, reading their signs, answering their questions and taking selfies on their phones.

"There’s no other place in the world I’d rather be." Kevin Warren
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Just before players and Bears staff head back into the locker room prior to kickoff, Warren shares a quick moment with general manager Ryan Poles.

Kevin Warren and Ryan Poles
Kevin Warren and Ryan Poles

After completing his pregame lap, Warren makes it back to the suite with 10 minutes to prepare for kickoff. He watches the national anthem then brings the group in his suite together for a prayer right at noon, ensuring he, Greta, Peri and Powers are all side by side.

Powers, Kevin, Greta and Peri Warren.
Powers, Kevin, Greta and Peri Warren.

As the Bears kick to the Falcons to start the game, Warren positions himself at the top row of the suite and says to himself, "alright, let's get a win."

Following the Bears' first score — a 7-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Justin Fields to receiver DJ Moore — Warren comments "Great call. Great read. Great execution." He then writes down the play on his gamecard, doing so throughout the game as reminders of things he will want to revisit during the week.

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Warren, his family and guests intently watch as the Bears put together a dominant 37-17 victory over Atlanta, cheering for every touchdown, defensive stop, takeaway and first down.

He continuously takes notes and makes small comments to himself: "We need to get a score here." "Good block by DJ right there." "Let's go Justin." "Way to go, Tyrique."

He and Powers, who played collegiate football with Bears defensive end Montez Sweat at Mississippi State, go back and forth during the game, breaking down various plays or discussing penalty calls.

While Warren remains calm and levelheaded during games, it is his family, specifically Greta, who are not afraid to voice all of their emotions. Warren describes Greta as a "huge football fan" since the two met. He loves the energy she displays each game, treating the Bears like it is her family.

At halftime, the Mayor of Chicago, Brandon Johnson, visits the suite and greets Warren by saying "What's going on Mr. President?" Warren replies, "Great to see you, Mr. Mayor."

Warren and Mayor Johnson converse during the break and introduce their families to each other.

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In the third quarter, Warren takes a seat for the first time since getting out of his car at the stadium that morning. He sits with Greta in the first row of the suite, watching as the Bears increase their 21-7 halftime lead to a 27-10 advantage.

A look at a Day in The Life of Chicago Bears President and CEO Kevin Warren during a home game day against the Falcons at Soldier Field, Sunday, December 31, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
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With just four minutes left in the game, Warren packs up his bag, puts his coat on and walks down to the tunnel near the field, embracing the snowy Chicago weather with the fans and watching the Bears seal a fifth consecutive home win.

"We just locked in the No. 1 pick." Ryan Poles to Kevin Warren via text message after the Bears' win over the Falcons
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As soon as time expires, Warren goes into the Bears locker room, awaiting the flood of players who quickly file in to celebrate their victory.

Warren makes his way around the room, grinning from ear to ear while congratulating and hugging players, coaches and staff.

Kevin Warren and Justin Fields.
Kevin Warren and Justin Fields.

As the players continue their celebration, Warren and Poles meet up again to enjoy the win together. Just 15 minutes prior, Warren received a text from Poles that read "We just locked in the No. 1 pick" following Carolina's loss to Jacksonville. Warren then announced the news to his suite.

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After listening to coach Matt Eberflus give his postgame speech and break down the huddle, Warren departs from the locker room at 3:40 p.m. He goes back up to the concourse for a standing postgame meeting with business operations staff members and club partners. 

Before the meeting starts, Warren greets McCaskey with a big hug and congratulates him on the win.

To close the meeting and wrap up his gameday at Soldier Field, Warren leaves his staff members with a powerful message: "There's no other place in the world I'd rather be."

He speaks about the growing momentum and energy the team and organization has built throughout 2023, saying "you can feel it here." Warren expresses his pride in the group and the Bears' ability to "set ourselves up for a phenomenal 2024" from on-field, community, business and stadium perspectives.

Warren leaves the stadium at 4:20 p.m., ready to meet his family and friends for dinner, a tradition he follows every home game. While heading to dinner, Warren listens to ESPN 1000 while reviewing the game's stats and news via the Bears' app.

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At 4:45 p.m., Warren arrives at Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab on Grand Avenue, one of his family's favorite spots. Over the next 20 minutes his family and longtime friends, many of which came from out of town to enjoy New Year's Eve with the Warrens, file into the private room.

The group spends the next five hours watching NFL football, reflecting on the win, catching up and soaking in the final moments of 2023 together.

"I hope your nets get so full they break." Kevin Warren

Before eating dinner, Warren goes around the room and asks each person to reflect on what they are most grateful for from 2023 and what they are looking forward to in 2024.

Warren is the last person to share and professes his gratitude for all that 2023 brought him and his loved ones. He shares how it has been a year since he engaged in conversations with Bears chairman George H. McCaskey for the Bears for the President & CEO position and how those continue to lead to new and challenging opportunities in Chicago.

To close out his moment with the group, he refers back to the scripture he studied at team chapel Saturday night and reviewed in the morning with Dr. Vickers, telling his family and friends that in 2024 "I hope your nets get so full they break."

Kevin Warren with his family and friends at dinner.
Kevin Warren with his family and friends at dinner.

As Warren's guests wrap up their evening and head out at 9:45 p.m., he takes time to unwind and reflect on the celebratory evening. Warren sits back in awe of his day, in awe of his job as President & CEO of the Chicago Bears and in awe of his life.

He feels confident and ready for the new year, feeling no pressure, only excitement and extreme gratitude for the "phenomenal" opportunities that lie ahead in 2024.

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After heading home for the night, he winds down 2023 with Greta, Peri and Peri's dog, Miso. He falls asleep on the couch watching NFL Network just before midnight then retreats to his bedroom in preparation for another early morning workout on New Year's Day.

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