Kevin Warren will replace Jim Delany as the new Big Ten commissioner when Delany steps down from the job in June 2020.
Kevin Warren was named the new Big Ten commissioner, replacing Jim Delany who will retire on Jan. 1, 2020. Warren was introduced at a press conference on the Big Ten Network Tuesday.
Warren, who is the Vikings' chief operating officer, is the first African-American commissioner of a Power Five conference. He has spent 21 seasons in the NFL, including the last 14 with Minnesota.
Warren is the highest-ranking black executive working on the business side of an NFL franchise, according to ESPN. He was promoted to the COO position in 2015, and he became a member of the NFL's committee on workplace diversity in 2013.
Delany announced in March that he would be retiring at the conclusion of his contract. He's held the job since 1989. After playing basketball at North Carolina, he worked for the NCAA and as the Ohio Valley Conference commissioner before taking the Big Ten position.
During his tenure, the Big Ten expanded to 14 members after adding Penn State (1990), Nebraska (2011), Maryland (2014) and Rutgers (2014). Delany also helped launch the Big Ten Network in 2007, which was the first TV network for a Power 5 conference. In 2018, revenue distribution topped $50 million per school, and USA Today reported the Big Ten recorded nearly $759 million in revenue during its 2018 fiscal year.