The Denver Broncos have hired Kelly Kleine as the Executive Director of Football Operations/Special Advisor to the General Manager, making her one of the most powerful women in the National Football League.
She is believed to be highest-ranking woman as a scouting executive with an NFL team, according to an NFL spokesman.
“Kelly is a rising star in the NFL, and we’re fortunate to add someone of her caliber to the Denver Broncos,” Broncos general manager George Paton said in a news release.
Paton said Kleine will report directly to him and serve as the primary liaison for the Broncos’ football operations. She will also have responsibilities with both professional and college scouting, he said.
Kleine will be involved with the team’s personnel department, which includes player evaluation, preparations for the NFL draft and free agency as well as daily football administration. She also will oversee Denver’s video and equipment departments, according to the release.
“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 said in the release. “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.”
Before being hired by Denver, Kleine worked for nearly a decade for the Minnesota Vikings, most recently serving as the team’s manager of player personnel/college scout.
She started as a public relations intern for the Vikings in 2012 and rose through the ranks, according to the release. Kleine’s responsibilities with the Vikings included scouting college players from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana and the Dakotas, the release said.
After nine years with the Vikings, the Sheboygan, Wisconsin, native will enter her tenth season in the NFL with the Broncos.