May 17 (UPI) -- The Denver Broncos hired the Minnesota Vikings' Kelly Kleine as executive director of football operations and special adviser to general manager George Paton, the team announced Monday.
The 30-year-old Kleine, who most recently served as a college scout and the Vikings' manager of player personnel, is believed to be the highest-ranking female scouting executive in NFL history.
"Kelly is a rising star in the NFL, and we're fortunate to add someone of her caliber to the Denver Broncos," 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.
"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."
Kleine will be the primary liaison for the Broncos' football operations and oversee multiple areas of the pro and college scouting departments, including player evaluation and preparation for the NFL Draft and free agency. She also will handle the team's video and equipment departments.
Kleine, a Wisconsin native, spent the past 10 seasons in the Vikings organization, including the last nine with the team's scouting department. She got her start in the league as a public relations intern with the Vikings in 2012 while finishing her undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota.
She entered the Vikings' scouting department as an administration intern in 2013. She became a scouting assistant in 2014 before being promoted to the club's college scouting coordinator in 2015.
As the Vikings' manager of player personnel/college scout, Kleine scouted the Midwest region and served as the liaison between all off-site scouts and the front office.