CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Bears chairman Michael McCaskey announced his retirement after the 2010 season on Wednesday and said the family of founder George Halas has no plans to sell the storied team.
"We intend for our family to own the Bears as long as you care to think about it," Michael McCaskey said at a news conference in suburban Lake Forest. He will turn over chairman duties to his brother, George McCaskey, who has been directing Bears ticket operations.
Virginia McCaskey, the team's owner, is 87 and still the secretary of the board of directors.
"My mom and I are both in good health, but you never know what's coming next. We lost Walter Payton and that certainly affected me," Michael McCaskey said. "Walter said it very well. He said tomorrow's not promised to anyone, so you just don't know what's coming ahead."
A grandson of Halas, the 66-year-old McCaskey taught at Harvard Business School and operated a Boston consulting company before joining the Bears.
He served as team president from 1983-1999, a stint that included the Bears' only Super Bowl victory following the 1985 season with Mike Ditka coaching a team that included Payton, quarterback Jim McMahon and a defense led by Mike Singletary. McCaskey is also the man who fired Ditka after the 1992 season.
One of Michael McCaskey's roughest moments came in 1999 when the team botched the hiring of Dave McGinnis as head coach.
The team issued a press release and called a news conference to introduce McGinnis, who was livid because no agreement had been reached. Trying to put it quickly behind them, the Bears then turned to Dick Jauron as head coach.
Not long after the incident, Virginia McCaskey made the decision to boot her son upstairs and promote Ted Phillips, who was the team's director of finance. Phillips is still the team's president and CEO.
"It's disappointing to foul up like that and to cause grief for other people whom you admire," Michael McCaskey said at the time.
George McCaskey said his top priority as chairman is to represent the owners in league matters.
"Our entire family supports the notion of being the owners of the Chicago Bears for as long as possible," George McCaskey said.