Christensen named to football staff
Jay Christensen, the defensive coordinator at Morningside College (Iowa) the past three seasons, has been hired as defensive backs coach at South Dakota State University, head football coach John Stiegelmeier announced Tuesday.
"We are really excited to add Jay Christensen to our coaching family," Stiegelmeier said. "Jay has proven success both as a coach and as a recruiter. His six years of experience as a defensive backs coach will surely allow him to hit the ground running. I look forward to observing his coaching and mentoring of our defensive back unit."
Christensen replaces Shawn Mennenga, who resigned in February to take a coaching position with the Cleveland Browns. Co-defensive coordinator Jay Bubak will shift his coaching duties from the secondary to linebackers.
At Morningside, Christensen directed a top-ranked defense that allowed only 12.7 points and 12.1 first downs per game in 2010. The Mustangs compiled a 30-6 record in his three seasons on the Morningside sidelines, allowing an average of 15 points per game as the Mustangs reached the playoffs all three years. He also assisted with the special teams units.
Christensen previously served as a graduate assistant coach in charge of the inside linebackers and later as defensive backs coach at his alma mater, Nebraska-Kearney, from 2004-08. In 2005, the Lopers qualified for the NCAA Division II playoffs and a year later ranked first in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in scoring defense.
He began his coaching career in 2003 as an assistant coach at Ravenna High School (Neb.), before enrolling in graduate school.
Christensen will begin his duties on Wednesday (March 23).