Jim Mone/AP/Shutterstock Kelly Kleine
The Denver Broncos have announced a groundbreaking new hire.
The team revealed on Monday that they had hired Kelly Kleine as their executive director of football operations and special advisor to the general manager.
Kleine, who has worked with the Minnesota Vikings for the past 10 seasons, is believed to be the highest-ranking female scouting executive in NFL history, according to the Broncos. She is also currently the highest-ranking women in football operations at any NFL club, the Associated Press reported.
"Kelly is a rising star in the NFL, and we're fortunate to add someone of her caliber to the Denver Broncos," General Manager George Paton said in a statement.
"Having worked with her for nine years in Minnesota, Kelly has a strong understanding of all aspects of football operations and player evaluation along with outstanding leadership qualities," Paton added. "She will be a tremendous resource with her experience on the pro and college sides as well as her knowledge of our grading scale and football calendar."
"Major kudos to you. I have watched you go from amazing intern to an incredible professional and now to the powerhouse you are!" wrote Fox 9 sports anchor and reporter Dawn Mitchell on Twitter. "Can't wait to see what successes come for you in Denver. Go get 'em girl!!"
Kleine will be a key part in Denver's front office and will be involved with evaluating players as well as preparing for the NFL draft and free agency, according to the Broncos.
Additionally, she will be partly responsible for the team's pro and college scouting and will oversee the team's video and equipment departments.
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For the past two seasons Kleine was the Manager of Player Personnel/College Scout for the Vikings. In addition to her scouting work in the Midwest, she also served as a point person for all off-site scouts, and assisted in weekly scouting advances.
She also helped manage draft operations and negotiate during college free agency.
Kleine started off her career in 2012, working as a public relations intern for the team.