Pacers appoint their first female assistant GM since 1976

Kelly Krauskopf has joined the Pacers from the Indiana Fever, where she spent 19 seasons as the team's top executive.
Kelly Krauskopf has joined the Pacers from the Indiana Fever, where she spent 19 seasons as the team's top executive.

NEW YORK • The Indiana Pacers have named Kelly Krauskopf as their new assistant general manager, making her the first woman to hold the title with a National Basketball Association (NBA) team since the 1970s.

The team announced on Monday that Krauskopf, who has spent 19 seasons as the top executive for the Women's National Basketball Association's (WNBA) Indiana Fever, will join their basketball operations department on Jan 1. The Fever are owned by the Pacers.

Nancy Leonard was the last female assistant general manager in 1976 when her husband Bob was then coaching the Pacers.

Team president Kevin Pritchard told the Indianapolis Star that Krauskopf's role would focus "strictly on basketball".

"As the architect of one of the WNBA's most successful franchises, Kelly is a true pioneer in our sport," Pacers' owner Herb Simon said in a statement.

"I've worked with Kelly over the past two decades, so I know her tremendous basketball mind, strong work ethic and proven leadership skills will continue to be of great benefit to our organisation."

She began working in the WNBA league office in 1996 and joined the Pacers' organisation in 1999 when they were granted a WNBA expansion franchise.

For the past year, she has also been an e-sports executive, overseeing their NBA2K video game league team.

"The chance to work in an NBA front office for a first-class organisation filled with great people I know and in a city that has become my home is extraordinary," Krauskopf said in a statement.

"My past experience has shown me that building winning teams and elite-level culture is not based on gender - it is based on people and processes."

The Pacers are off to a 20-10 start in the league, rising to third in the Eastern Conference this term despite the recent 11-game absence of star guard Victor Oladipo.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, NY TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 19, 2018, with the headline 'Pacers appoint their first female assistant GM since 1976'. Print Edition | Subscribe