Kelly Kleine made a fast impression on the Vikings with her scouting ability, and they’re rewarding her for it.
According to Alex Marvez of the Sporting News, the Vikings promoted Kleine from college scouting assistant to college scouting coordinator, a sign of the respect she’s gained within the organization.
“She does about 1,000 different things to say the least,” General Manager Rick Spielman said. “She basically has her hands in all day-to-day operations on the personnel side.”
Kleine’s one of 14 women who work in football operations for NFL teams, and has made a quick rise through the operation. A former public relations intern, she moved to a position in scouting prior to the 2013 draft. And though she has no background playing or coaching football, she has impressed her bosses.
She works with the personnel department and coaching staff, evaluating prospects, scouting at pro days, as well as coordinating the team’s trip to the Scouting Combine and travel for incoming prospects for visits.
“The biggest thing when you’re trying to bring anyone up through an organization is to educate and train them,” Spielman said. “One thing we always try to identify are self-starters who have the work ethic and attention to detail where you can trust them to carry out whatever assignment is given them.
“In our eyes, it’s not about being a man or woman or what religion or race you are. It’s who is the most qualified regardless.”
Spielman said that as Kleine was coming up through the organization, there were male interns who had played, “and she was twice as good.”
The Vikings have created many opportunites for women in a male-dominated business. This year, the team promoted three women to vice president-level positions on the business side, not counting director of football administration Anne Doepner, who handles contract negotiations.
Photo credit: Vikings.com