As the first coach and founding father of Seawolf Hockey, Kelvin “Brush” Christiansen guided the UAA hockey team from its collegiate debut in 1979 until his retirement in 1996.
Under Christiansen’s leadership, the Seawolves went from an obscure Division II program to Division I independent status, and eventually joined college hockey’s most storied conference, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. In 17 seasons, the Fort Frances, Ontario, native led UAA to a 287-229-30 record, including five 20-wins seasons.
From 1990-92, Christiansen’s teams made the NCAA Tournament every year, stunning the college hockey world in 1991 with a first-round road upset of highly ranked Boston College. The 1992 team posted UAA’s best-ever record at 27-8-1. Since October 1996, Christiansen’s No. 79 – signifying the first season of Seawolf hockey – has hung from the Sullivan Arena rafters as the program’s first retired jersey.
Christiansen has remained active in Anchorage’s hockey community, coaching at the high school and little-league levels, as well as numerous camps and clinics. In 2001, he was honored with the Snooks Kelly Founders Award, presented by the American Hockey Coaches Association to coaches who have contributed to the overall growth and development of hockey in the United States.
He and his wife Marilyn are the parents of a daughter, Sarah.