Christiansen, 41, guided the Manchester Monarchs (Kings) to a 39-29 record and a Kelly Cup playoff appearance in his first season at the helm. In the playoffs, the Monarchs defeated the Adirondack Thunder (Devils) in five games then fell to the eventual champion Newfoundland Growlers (Maple Leafs) in six games.
Christiansen was left looking for a job after the season as the ECHL terminated the Monarchs’ ECHL membership in May when the team ceased operations since they could not find new ownership.
Prior to last season, Christiansen spent four years as the Director of Player Development and Recruitment for the USHL. He started his coaching career overseas in the United Kingdom’s Elite Hockey League, where he was named the Coach of the Year twice with the Edinburgh Capitals (2009-10) and Belfast Giants (2011-12). He led the Giants to the league championship in 2012 and conference title the next season.
As a player, Christiansen was a forward at Union College (1998-2002) before starting a professional career in the AHL, ECHL, UHL and in Italy’s Serie A.
The Milwaukee native fills the head coaching vacancy left by Bernie John after the Fuel and John “mutually parted ways” in April. Indy missed the playoffs by two points this past season after being swept by Toledo in the first round in 2018 during the Fuel’s first playoff appearances in franchise history.