ABOVE: TSU President Austin Lane, Minnesota Vikings COO Kevin Warren and Washington Redskins Sr. VP of Communication Tony Wyllie.
Texas Southern University honored Kevin Warren, the National Football League’s (NFL) highest ranking African American executive, with its inaugural Pioneer Award. Warren serves as chief operating officer for the Minnesota Vikings.
Texas Southern University presented the Pioneer Award on February 4th, in downtown Houston, as part of Super Bowl LI festivities. The Pioneer Award was conceived by Texas Southern University alumnus and Washington Redskins Sr. VP of Communication Tony Wyllie. The purpose of the Pioneer Award is to highlight the diversity within the NFL’s front offices and encourage continued inclusive hiring practices by NFL franchises.
“Kevin is deserving of this award,” Wyllie said. “His promotion as the highest ranking African American National Football League team executive is a testament to his talents and work ethic that he has displayed throughout his 19-year NFL career. The fact that my alma mater, Texas Southern University, is benefitting from Kevin’s success makes this award extra special.”
Warren pledged to continue to work hard and do all that he can do to open up doors not only for people of color but also women.
“”I am keenly aware of the sacrifices others made before me to give me the opportunity to work and excel in the National Football League and I am going to do all that I can to possibly open up doors for others,” said Warren.
“We are grateful that Tony Wyllie, a proud Texas Southern University alumnus, was instrumental in bringing this award to Texas Southern,” said TSU President Austin Lane. “On behalf of the TSU family I would like to congratulate Kevin for the excellent example he has set for our students to model themselves after. We know that our students will benefit greatly from this annual award.”
Reception proceeds benefit the University’s Graduation Success Scholarship. The plan is to hand out the award each year at the Super Bowl site, with next year’s game being in Minnesota.