Rod Christiansen

Rod Christiansen

Athletic Coach
Football, Nordic Ski
Palmer High School

After graduating from Palmer High in 1978, Rod Christiansen returned a few years later to begin his legendary coaching career as an assistant coach with the Moose football program. Christiansen took over as head coach in 1991 and as the next 27 seasons progressed with him in charge, Palmer played with the character and toughness of its coach.

“Coach was an influencer long before that became a thing with the advent of social media,” said former Palmer High principal Wolfgang Winter. “What really stands out about him is that he never made it about himself in any way, shape or form.”

Christiansen finished his Palmer coaching career as Alaska’s all-time winningest coach with 159 victories. He was named state coach of the year five times. The Moose won the 1995 single-classification First National Bowl state championship and finished second at state four times. He also taught math and science at the school, worked as Nordic ski coach and coached youth baseball.

Coach C, as most of his students and players called him, is an Alaska institution whether he likes the sound of that or not. Christiansen and wife of 30-plus years Temple raised a family of four sons.“He consistently placed the needs of his players above all else,” said Palmer mayor Edna DeVries. “His impact reverberates not only through the accolades and championships, but also through the lasting relationships he cultivated and the positive vibes he instilled in his students.”