Kelly Krauskopf joins Indiana Pacers as NBA's first female assistant general manager

Kelly Krauskopf (lower right), who built the 2012 WNBA champion <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/wnba/teams/ind" data-ylk="slk:Indiana Fever">Indiana Fever</a> as team president, joins the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/teams/ind" data-ylk="slk:Pacers">Pacers</a>. (AP)
Kelly Krauskopf (lower right), who built the 2012 WNBA champion Indiana Fever as team president, joins the Pacers. (AP)

Kelly Krauskopf made NBA history on Monday, accepting a front-office role with the Indiana Pacers to become the league’s first female assistant general manager, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Krauskopf had worked with the WNBA since its inception, starting as director of operations upon the league’s inception in 1996 before joining becoming the Indiana Fever’s top executive three years later. In addition to her role as president of the franchise, she worked as general manager for much of her 19 years with the Fever, building a team that would win the 2012 WNBA title and reach three Finals.

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Krauskopf relinquished her GM title in 2017 to become senior vice president of Pacers Sports and Entertainment, running the NBA team’s esports franchise in addition to her role as president of the Fever. In her new role with the Pacers, the former Texas A&M star will reportedly leave the Fever to concentrate on working with the Pacers’ basketball operations staff, including president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard, general manager Chad Buchanan and assistant GM Peter Dinwiddie.

Krauskopf is the 15th woman currently in a front-office role with an NBA team, joining Brooklyn Nets director of player engagement Annabel Padilla and contracts and salary cap specialist Natalie Jay; Denver Nuggets basketball operations associate Sue Bird; Oklahoma City Thunder basketball ops coordinator Amanda Green; San Antonio Spurs director of player services Analisa Rodriguez; Houston Rockets scouting director Ariana Andonian; Orlando Magic director of player development and quality control Becky Bonner; Los Angeles Lakers basketball ops chief of staff Elaine Shen; Utah Jazz VP of basketball ops Linda Luchetti;Atlanta Hawks VP of salary cap administration Michelle Leftwich; Toronto Raptors VP of basketball ops and player development Teresa Resch; Golden State Warriors director of basketball administration and player programs Nanea McGuigan; Philadelphia 76ers scout Lindsey Harding; and Sacramento Kings director of basketball ops and intelligence Elizabeth Ramsey.

The NBA has been a leader in this regard, but as SB Nation’s Tim Struby recently detailed, every professional sports league has significant gender equality strides to make. Monday’s announcement is another step, as Krauskopf moves one step closer to becoming the first female GM in NBA history.

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Ben Rohrbach is a staff writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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