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Kelly Kleine: How She Became the Highest Ranked Woman in NFL Scouting

Broncos Kelly Kleine continues to be a trailblazer for women in sports…

By: Adam Hulse (@AdamHulseSports)

Kelly Kleine is not just the highest-ranked woman in NFL scouting, but one of the most powerful women of all time in the entire league. She continues to climb the ranks through hard work and perseverance and has been a revolution for women in a male-dominated profession. Her accomplishments to this point are remarkable and she’s just getting started. Let’s take a look at her impressive journey to the top.

Kelly Kleine: A Rise to Power

While attending the University of Minnesota, she was hired as an intern for the Minnesota Vikings public relations department in 2012. The following year in 2013 she became a scouting intern and was promoted to a full-time staff member as a scouting assistant in 2014. It did not take long for Kleine to climb the ranks. In 2015 she was promoted yet again, this time to be the Vikings scouting coordinator where she would oversee all scouting operations. She was highly trusted by the organization, serving as the link between the executive front office and all of their scouting units.

The highest title she received with the Vikings was the manager of player personnel. Her decade of hard work earned her yet another promotion, but this time it would be with a new team. The Denver Broncos hired her this offseason to be the executive director of football operations and a special advisor to the general manager. This hiring would make her the highest-ranking woman in NFL scouting history.

The Connection

Before hiring Kelly Kleine, the Broncos first hired a brand new general manager to run the team. After spending fifteen years with the Vikings organization in several different positions, George Paton would get his first opportunity to be a GM when he was hired by the Broncos this offseason. When a team hires a new GM, it usually means more staff changes are going to follow. A new person in charge, like Paton, gets the opportunity to tweak things in a way of their choice for the potential betterment of the organization. After all, a desire for change is the whole reason a team would hire a new GM in the first place.

Now calling the shots in Denver, it did not take long for Paton to contact Kleine about joining the staff. They worked together for nearly a decade in Minnesota, so he was well aware of the talent and value that she could bring to a team. He hired her to a very high position and will rely on her abilities heavily to assist in major team operations.

Only Getting Started

This is not the finish line for Kelly Kleine, but rather just another starting point. She will have a wide variety of responsibilities in her new role with the Broncos, including overseeing several different departments and operations. Her performance will open the possibility of advancing even higher in the ranks if she is successful. There is no reason to believe she won’t, and it is likely that she will make positive headlines again in the near future. This is another big step in the right direction for women in sports. A revolution is happening, and Kelly Kleine is one of the leaders of the pack.

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