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Why Justin Fuente became the only Power 5 coach to hire a female DFO

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Credit: Texas Tech athletics/Daily Press

In some ways, Daniele Bartelstein was born for her role as Virginia Tech's senior director of football operations: a whip smart, innate understanding of how a major college football program runs and the logistics needed to make it click. It was that outsized competence that allowed her to overcome the other, more obvious biographical detail that might have otherwise barred her from the profession.

David Teel of the (Hampton Roads) Daily Presschronicledhow Bartelstein rose from elementary school teacher to become the nation's only Power 5 female DFO.

"She possesses all of the attributes that I wanted in this role," Hokies head coach Justin Fuente said of Bartelstein. "She's extremely organized, works hard, is passionate about helping us win and understands the high standards we'll have for our program. Most importantly, she always has the best interests of our student-athletes and their families at heart."

"I think because it's still uncommon nowadays for a woman to be in this role, I think there are some people out there who are surprised," Bartelstein said of working in football. "I have been blessed to have worked for some incredible coaches and some fantastic mentors who supported me and guided me along the way and really have not made gender an issue. They've allowed me to be a part of their program. …

"I know there's a lot of women who still want to be involved with it and are still working towards that, and I think that's wonderful and hopefully with hard work and determination, as with any job, they'll get to those goals. … But at the end of the day, it still comes down to who is the best person for the position."

Read the full story here.