MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Vikings’ chief operating officer Kevin Warren has been named the commissioner of the Big Ten Conference.

The Big Ten Conference announced the decision at a press conference Tuesday.

Warren will be replacing longtime commissioner Jim Delany, who had served as commissioner since 1989. Delay will vacate his post after the 2019-20 academic year.

According to the NFL, Warren has spent over 20 years in the NFL and 14 with the Vikings. He will be the first African-American commissioner of the Power Five conference.

The Vikings released a statement shortly following the announcement:

“Kevin has impacted the Vikings and our family in immeasurable ways over the last 15 years. He has worked tirelessly to elevate the Vikings franchise, all with the greater good of the organization and Minneapolis-St. Paul in mind. From the very onset, Kevin helped us navigate and execute the purchase of the franchise. He then evolved as a leader of the organization in ways we never could have imagined, leading our vision for U.S. Bank Stadium and TCO Performance Center, developing a world-class fan experience, and implementing many initiatives that have transformed our franchise with the benefit of our employees and Vikings fans top of mind. Kevin has been a tremendous leader for the Vikings and he and his family have been passionately and intricately involved in the community, enhancing the lives of so many people. We know the Big Ten and their student-athletes, coaches, and administrators are extremely fortunate to have his leadership, character, and vision, and we wish Kevin and the Warren family all the best. We will work with Kevin and the Vikings management team over the next three months to help us through this transition and process how we want to move forward.” – Mark & Zygi Wilf

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