The Big Ten appears to have gone outside college sports for its pick to succeed Commissioner Jim Delany.
Kevin Warren, currently the chief operating officer for the Minnesota Vikings, will be introduced Tuesday at a Big Ten press conference, according to multiple national reports circulated Monday night.
Warren has overseen all of the Vikings’ business operations since Feb. 2015 and was a key factor in getting Minnesota’s new U.S. Bank Stadium built. He has worked in the NFL for the majority of his career, although he was a former college basketball player at Pennsylvania and Grand Canyon.
Delany, the Big Ten’s boss for 30 years, leaves behind a considerable legacy. He created the Big Ten Network and expanded his league by four teams and four states. League members who receive a full share of Big Ten money got more than $50 million last year, more than any other Power Five schoolexcept Texas, which negotiated its own side deal with ESPN.
Warren will be the first black commissioner of a major college conference. His father, Morrison Warren, was the first black president of a college bowl game when he headed the Fiesta Bowl in 1982. His son, Powers, is a tight end at Mississippi State.