LAKE FOREST – Thursday was one of the rarest days in the history of Chicago’s National Football League franchise.

That’s when the Bears hired just their fifth team president in the history of the franchise as Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren heads to Lake Forest to take the job of president and CEO.

He comes to the Bears not only with his experience in college sports but a weath of experience in the NFL with the Rams (1997-2000), Lions (2001-2003, and Vikings (2005-2019) in a variety of front office roles.

So who has previously served in that role? Here’s the list.

(AP Photo/Fred Jewell)

George Halas

“Papa Bear” was the longest serving president of the Bears, performing that role along with being the owner and longtime head coach of the franchise he founded.

During his tenure as president, the team won seven NFL championships.

(AP Photo/Charles Knoblock)

George (Mugs) Halas Jr.

In 1963, George handed the president’s job to his son, George Halas Jr., who often was known by the nickname of “Mugs.”

During his first year in that role, the Bears won their last NFL Championship in the pre-Super Bowl era and the final one of his father’s coaching career.

It was intented that he would take over as the principal owner of the Bears once George Sr. passed away, but the younger Halas died of a heartattack in December 16, 1979. His sister, Virginia, took over as owner and still holds that role.

On the day of his death, the Bears clinched one of two NFC Wild Card spots they earned in his tenure as president, also making the playoffs in 1977.

(AP Photo/John Swart, File)

Michael McCaskey

Upon George Halas’ death on October 31, 1983, the Bears named his grandson Michael McCaskey as the new president.

Early in his tenure, with a foundation built in the early 1980s, the Bears enjoyed one of the most successful runs in team history. They made the playoffs seven of his first nine seasons (1984-1988, 1990-1991) in that role, including Super Bowl XX in Janaury 1986.

But the team’s performance fell off as the 1990s went on and was moved to the chariman’s role in 1999, replacing Ed McCaskey.

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Ted Phillips

Joining the team as a controller in 1983, Ted Phillps was named the fourth team president on February 10, 1999.

During his time, the Bears saw a $632 million renovation of Soldier Field, which took place from Janaury 2002 through September 2003. In September 2021, he led the team’s signing of a purchase agreement for the Arlington Park site as the team eyes the fesability of building a new stadium.

On the field, the Bears had a mix of success and struggles, making the playoffs six times and winning the NFC Championship in the 2006 season. Yet the team couldn’t bring another Super Bowl title back to Chicago, making the playoffs only twice in his final 12 seasons.

Kevin Warren

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Kevin Warren

The Bears hired former Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren for the job on Thursday, January 12, 2023 and made history in the process.

He’s the first Black president in team history and also the first to come from outside the franchise.

Joining the Big Ten in 2020, he led the conference through the pandemic, the addition of USC and UCLA in 2024, and a landmark broadcast deal.

Perhaps of interest to the Bears was Warren’s work with the Vikings, when as executive vice president of legal affairs, chief administrative officer, and then chief operation officer starting in 2015, he helped the team build US Bank Stadium.

That venue replaced the aging Metrodome in 2016.