HAVRE – The Aaron Christensen era has officially come to a close on the Hi-Line. Montana State University-Northern announced Wednesday morning that Christensen has resigned from his post as head coach of the Lights, effective immediately. Defensive coordinator Jake Eldridge will take over the head coaching duties on an interim basis for the remainder of the season.
The Havre Daily News announced on Twitter Tuesday that Christensen, who took over the Lights in 2015, was set to announce his resignation on Wednesday morning. MTN Sports’ Tom Wylie confirmed the news with MSU-Northern officials.
MSU-Northern is 1-7 this season and 2-27 over the past three seasons. His Lights were embarrassed in a 93-19 loss on Saturday at Montana Tech, giving up an NAIA-record 932 yards of offense.
“We appreciate everything Coach Christensen has done for Northern and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors,” said Greg Kegel, the MSU-Northern Chancellor. “I have instructed our athletic director, Christian Oberquell, to begin the search for a new head football coach immediately. We are committed to seeing MSU-Northern’s football team become a powerhouse in the Frontier Conference.”
Christensen was hired in 2015 after serving as the offensive coordinator at Missouri Valley College. Under his tutelage, MVC won three consecutive Heart of America Athletics Conference championships and competed in the NAIA national playoffs three times, including one semifinal appearance.
“I would like to thank the school for the privilege and opportunity to coach the Northern football team the last three seasons,” Christensen said in a release. “It has been a great experience for me and my family and I wish nothing but the best for MSU-Northern in the years to come.”
A former football player at San Jose City College and Huron University, Christensen and the Lights’ defense have given up 51.5 points per game this season, last in the Frontier Conference. Only three teams in the nation have allowed more points per game in 2017.
The Lights offense has also struggled during Christensen’s tenure, averaging only 17.4 points per contest, tied for last in the league.
Eldridge is currently in his 10th season coaching MSU-Northern, where he started four years and was an all-conference defensive back for former coach Mark Samson. Eldridge was named the interim coach when Samson resigned in 2014.