Jack Christiansen was born December 20, 1928, in Sublette, Kansas. Christiansen attended Colorado State University with the plans of sprinting for the track team. The football coach convinced him to play his sophomore year and Christiansen became a star. The Detroit Lions drafted Christiansen in 1951. In 1952 and 1953 Christiansen helped his team win the NFL Championship. Christiansen played eight seasons for the Lions before retiring in 1958. After retirement Christiansen took up coaching. In 1959 Christiansen was hired as an assistant coach at the San Francisco 49ers. He later became the head coach, but his best record was 7-6-1, which later led to his dismissal. In 1972 Christiansen became the head coach at Stanford University, where he worked until 1976. Christiansen returned to the professional league again by joining the Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff in 1977. From 1978 to 1982 Christiansen worked for the Seattle Seahawks as a defensive backs coach, and finally ended his coaching career with the Atlanta Falcons in 1983. Christiansen was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970. Christiansen died June 29, 1986, in Stanford, California.
Entry: Christiansen, Jack
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: May 2012
Date Modified: July 2016
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