The Green Bay Packers have named veteran and award-winning journalist Cliff Christl as team historian, Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy announced Tuesday.
Christl, a Green Bay native, worked as a sportswriter for four Wisconsin newspapers during a career that spanned 36 years, with much of his work focused on the Packers and the team’s history. With the Packers, Christl’s work will build upon the immense research he’s already conducted, document key moments in the team’s 90-plus-year history, and contribute content to Packers.com.
“The Packers are thrilled to have Cliff join our organization,” Murphy said. “The team’s rich history is a great source of pride for our fans and among our best assets, and Cliff is eminently suited to help us continue to tell the greatest story in sports. His unparalleled knowledge, highly respected work and passion for the history of the Packers will serve the franchise and its fans very well.”
Recently, Christl was the driving force behind the creation of the Packers Heritage Trail, which includes 22 commemorative plaques and a spectacular downtown plaza that celebrates the rich history of the Packers over their first 50 years.
Christl’s experience with the Packers stretches back to the 1950s when he attended his first Packers games at old City Stadium and then continued by closely following Vince Lombardi’s Packers as a teenager. He began writing about the team in 1970 and started covering it on a regular basis in 1974.
He has served on the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee since 2002, and he also is a member of the Packers Hall of Fame Inc. selection committee. In addition, he has authored or co-authored three books about the Packers: A Championship Team: The Packers and St. Norbert College in the Lombardi Years; Mudbaths & Bloodbaths: The Inside Story of the Bears-Packers Rivalry; and The Twenty-Five Greatest Moments in Lambeau Field History.
Christl began his career at the Manitowoc Herald-Times before spending close to 16 years at the Green Bay Press-Gazette and 20 at The Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He won numerous awards for his work, including being named sportswriter of the year in Wisconsin seven times. Twice, in 1999 and 2001, the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association honored him in Salisbury, N.C., for writing the best national sports story. Three times in the 1990s, he placed in the enterprise-reporting category in The Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest. He also won two Milwaukee Press Club awards for best state sports story and a Wisconsin Newspaper Association award for best state sports column.
He was inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as a “friend of basketball” in 2006 and was inducted into the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in a special citation category in 2007. In 2009, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh honored him with its Distinguished Alumni Award.