INDIANAPOLIS – The Indy Fuel announced Friday that Doug Christiansen has been named the team’s new head coach and general manager. Replacing Bernie John, who was let go in April, Christiansen will be the franchise’s third head coach.
“I am thrilled to join the Indy Fuel and Chicago Blackhawks organization,” Christiansen said. “The Fuel have a tremendous foundation from which to grow. Jim Hallett and the front office are committed to bringing a winner to Indy and I am thankful for the opportunity to coach the Fuel. I am looking forward to building a winning culture that will bring exciting hockey to the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.”
Christiansen comes to the Circle City after spending the 2018-19 season as head coach and general manager of the Manchester Monarchs. In his first season as head coach, Christiansen led the team to a 39-29-2 record and a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, eventually losing in the second round to the Kelly Cup Champion Newfoundland Growlers.
“We are very excited to have Doug join the Fuel organization,” Fuel owner Jim Hallett said. “We were overwhelmed by the number of applicants during our extensive search for the next head coach. The top qualities we looked at were leadership, experience and the ability to recruit top talent. With Doug’s experience both as a winning coach in Manchester and his ability to build relationships with players while serving as Director of Recruitment for the USHL we are confident he will build a victorious tradition in Indy and serve as a pillar in the community.”
Before joining the Monarchs, Christiansen spent four years as the Director of Player Development & Recruitment for the United States Hockey League (USHL). While with the USHL, Christiansen expanded the USHL Development Series, which included the league Combines and Showcases and featured partnerships with National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres and Los Angeles Kings.
No stranger to coaching, Christiansen spent seven seasons as a head coach and director of hockey operations for three teams in the United Kingdom’s Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL), leading the Belfast Giants to a league championship in 2012 and a conference championship in 2013. During his time in the United Kingdom, Christiansen was named EIHL Coach of the Year twice and spent a year as head coach of the Great Britain National Team.
During his playing career, the native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin spent five years playing in the AHL, ECHL and the UHL. Along with playing professionally in North America, Christiansen also spent two years playing for the Edinburgh Capitals in the EIHL.
Christiansen comes to Indy as the organization’s third head coach and general manager. In five years as a franchise, the team has made the Kelly Cup Playoffs once and were swept in the first round.