Jack Leroy Christiansen (December 20, 1928--June 29, 1986) was an football player and coach and is perhaps most recognized for his eight-year Hall of Fame playing career with the Detroit Lions in the National Football League. Following his retirement in Detroit, he also served as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers for nearly five seasons, then later served in the same capacity at Stanford University. Born in Sublette, Kansas, Christiansen's humble beginnings included being raised in an orphanage. He played three seasons of football at Colorado State University, and was a sixth round draft pick of the Lions in 1951. In his first year with the team, he became an integral part of the defensive backfield, a unit that would become known as 'Chris's Crew', in tribute to his leadership. As strong as his defense was, Christiansen also developed a well-deserved reputation as the most dangerous return man in the game, returning eight punts for touchdowns during his career.
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