Cris Collinsworth
No. 80     
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1959-01-27) January 27, 1959 (age 61)
Place of birth: Dayton, Ohio
High School: Astronaut High School,
Titusville, Florida
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Weight: 192 lb (87 kg)
Career information
College: University of Florida
NFL Draft: 1981 / Round: 2 / Pick: 37
Debuted in 1981 for the Cincinnati Bengals
Last played in 1988 for the Cincinnati Bengals
Career history
* Cincinnati Bengals ( 1981 1988)
Career highlights and awards
* First-team All-SEC (1978, 1979, 1980)
Games played     107
Games started     90
Receptions     417
Receiving yards     6,698
Touchdowns     36
Stats at
Stats at
Stats at

Anthony Cris Collinsworth (born January 27, 1959) is a former American college and professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for eight seasons during the 1980s. He played college football for the University of Florida, and was recognized as an All-American. A second-round pick in the 1981 NFL Draft, he played his entire professional career for the Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL. Collinsworth now works as a television sportscaster for NBC, Showtime, and the NFL Network.

Early life Edit

Collinsworth was born in Dayton, Ohio,[1] the son of Abraham Lincoln "Abe" Collinsworth (who was born on Abraham Lincoln's birthday) and his wife, Donetta (Browning). Abe, known as "Lincoln" in high school, was one of the top scorers in Kentucky high school basketball history and played for the Kentucky Wildcats "Fiddling Five" that won the 1958 national championship. Both were educators; Donetta was a teacher and Abe was a teacher and coach and later a principal and superintendent.[2]

The family, which also included Cris's brother, Greg, moved to Titusville, Florida in 1963.[3] Cris attended Astronaut High School in Titusville, where his father was principal and later assistant superintendent.[4][5] Cris was high school football All-American quarterback and the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Class 3A 100-yard-dash state champion for the Astronaut War Eagles in 1976.

College career Edit

Collinsworth's exceptional height and speed attracted the attention of college football coaches throughout the South. He received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Doug Dickey and coach Charley Pell's Florida Gators football teams from 1977 to 1980.[6] He was recruited as a quarterback by Doug Dickey's staff and in his first game as a Gator, Collinsworth threw a 99-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Gaffney against the Rice Owls, which remains tied for the longest touchdown pass in NCAA history.[6]

He later switched to wide receiver as the Gators transitioned from a run-oriented option offense to an offensive scheme that employed more passing.[6] As a Gator wide receiver, he was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection in 1978, 1979 and 1980, and a first-team All-American, a first-team Academic All-American, and a team captain in 1980.[6] During his career at Florida, he caught 120 passes for 1,937 yards and fourteen touchdowns, while also scoring two rushing touchdowns and one on a kickoff return.[6]

As a senior in 1980, Collinsworth was a member of the Gators team that posted the biggest one-year turnaround in the history of NCAA Division I football[7]—from 0–10–1 in 1979[8] to an 8–4 bowl team in 1980.[9]

While he was an undergraduate, Collinsworth was also an active member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity (Florida Alpha Omega Chapter), and was inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame.[10] He graduated from Florida with a bachelor's degree in accounting in 1981, and was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 1991.[11][12] As part of its article series about the top 100 Gators of the first century of Florida football published in 2006, The Gainesville Sun recognized him as the No. 12 all-time Gator player.[13]

Professional career Edit

After college, Collinsworth was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round (37th pick overall) of the 1981 NFL Draft,[14] and spent his entire eight-year NFL career with the Bengals.[15] He surpassed 1,000 yards receiving four times (in 1981, 1983, 1985, and 1986) and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1981, 1982 and 1983. At six feet, five inches in height, Collinsworth often created mismatches against much smaller cornerbacks. In addition to his height advantage, Collinsworth was a legitimate deep threat due to his speed.

In Super Bowl XVI, Collinsworth caught four passes for 107 yards, but committed a costly fumble when he was hit by San Francisco defensive back Eric Wright.

In 1985, Collinsworth signed with the Tampa Bay Bandits of the United States Football League, but the contract was voided when he failed the physical due to a bad ankle. He returned to the Bengals and played for them until the end of the 1988 season, catching three passes for 40 yards in Super Bowl XXIII, the final game of his career. He finished his eight-season NFL career with 417 receptions for 6,698 yards and 36 touchdowns in 107 games.

Broadcasting career Edit

After his retirement as an NFL player, Collinsworth began a broadcasting career as a sports radio talk show host on Cincinnati station WLW. Initially, he was a guest host for Bob Trumpy (also a Bengals alumnus), but took over the show full-time as Trumpy accepted more television assignments. He then became a reporter for HBO's (now Showtime's) Inside the NFL in 1989.[16]

In 1990, he became a part of the NBC network's NFL broadcasts, as well as some of the college programming.[17] He joined the NBC pregame show in 1996.[17]

In 1998, Collinsworth joined the NFL on Fox team after NBC lost their broadcast rights to CBS. After several years as a color commentator on the Fox NFL Sunday pregame show, Collinsworth was assigned to the network's lead game broadcasting crew (teaming with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman) in 2002.[17] He worked on Fox's Super Bowl XXXIX telecast three years later.[17] Collinsworth was also the host of the television show Guinness World Records Primetime during his stay at Fox.[17]

In 2006, Collinsworth could be seen on three networks during football season.[17] In addition to co-hosting Inside the NFL on HBO, he returned to NBC as a studio analyst for that network's Sunday night NFL coverage and did color commentary on the NFL Network.[17] He also served as color commentator for NFL Network Thursday night games (and one Saturday-night game) alongside play-by-play man Bryant Gumbel and Bob Papa.[17]

In the NBC broadcasts of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Collinsworth appeared alongside Bob Costas as a commentator on numerous occasions.[17] Collinsworth and Costas paired again during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.[17] He also continued his work on Inside the NFL when it debuted on its new home on Showtime.[17]

Collinsworth is also the color commentator on Madden NFL 09 and Madden NFL 10 with Tom Hammond, as well as in Madden NFL 11 and Madden NFL 12 with Gus Johnson.

It was announced on April 16, 2009 that Collinsworth would fill the role vacated by John Madden on NBC's Sunday Night Football.[18]

Collinsworth is the host of Inside the Vault on WGN America.[17]

Collinsworth is on the Board of Selectors of Jefferson Awards for Public Service.[19]

Honors Edit

Collinsworth received a Sports Emmy Award in April 1998 as "Outstanding Studio Analyst" and his second in 1999. In 2001, he was inducted into the Academic All-America Hall of Fame. He was also recognized with his third and fourth Sports Emmy Awards in 2003 and 2004 as "Outstanding Sports Personality/Studio Analyst." In May 2006, he added a fifth with an Emmy Award again in the category "Outstanding Sports Personality/Studio Analyst" for his work on HBO. Collinsworth served as a correspondent for NBC Sports coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics.[17]

Personal life Edit

Collinsworth earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1991.[17] He currently lives in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, with his wife, Holly (Bankemper) Collinsworth, an attorney, and their four children.[17]

His son, Austin Collinsworth, plays football at the University of Notre Dame.[20]

On March 12, 2011, it was reported that Collinsworth was among 83 people rescued from Jeff Ruby's Waterfront restaurant in Covington, Kentucky, when the floating restaurant tore loose from its moorings and began to drift on the Ohio River, only to be stopped by the bridge that links Ohio to Kentucky.[21] Collinsworth also has a steak named after him by the same restaurant.[22]

Cris's father, Abe, died at age 76 on October 14, 2012.[23] Cris's brother, Greg, died at age 44 of cancer on October 29, 2004.[24][25]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1., Players, Cris Collinsworth. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  5., Players, Cris Collinsworth. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 82, 87, 91, 96, 99, 100, 124, 127, 139, 143–145, 147–150, 158, 159, 162, 165, 173, 180 (2011). Retrieved August 28, 2011.
  7. Norm Carlson, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia, pp. 95–96 (2007).
  8. College Football Data Warehouse, Florida Yearly Results 1975–1979. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  9. College Football Data Warehouse, Florida Yearly Results 1980–1984. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  10. University of Florida, Student Affairs, Hall of Famers. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  11. F Club, Hall of Fame, Gator Greats. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  12. "Seven to be inducted into UF Hall of Fame," The Gainesville Sun, p. 8C (April 4, 1991). Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  13. Robbie Andreu & Pat Dooley, "No. 12 Cris Collinsworth," The Gainesville Sun (August 22, 2006). Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  14. Pro Football Hall of Fame, Draft History, 1981 National Football League Draft. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  15. National Football League, Historical Players, Cris Collinsworth. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  16. Leonard Shapiro, "Collinsworth Finds New Life on Showtime's 'Inside the NFL'," The Washington Post (September 17, 2008). Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  17. 17.00 17.01 17.02 17.03 17.04 17.05 17.06 17.07 17.08 17.09 17.10 17.11 17.12 17.13 17.14 NBC Sports, Cris Collinsworth Bio. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  18. Alex Weprin, "Cris Collinsworth Tapped To Replace Madden," Broadcasting & Cable (April 16, 2009). Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  20. University of Notre Dame, Football, Roster, Austin Collinsworth. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  21. Michael McCarthy, "Cris Collinsworth rescued from runaway floating restaurant," USA Today (March 12, 2011). Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  22. "Cris Collinsworth among 83 rescued". ESPN. Retrieved 7 November 2013.

Bibliography Edit

  • Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.
  • Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
  • Hairston, Jack, Tales from the Gator Swamp: A Collection of the Greatest Gator Stories Ever Told, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois (2002). ISBN 1-58261-514-4.
  • McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
  • Nash, Noel, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois (1998). ISBN 1-57167-196-X.

External links Edit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
John Madden
NFL on Fox lead game analyst (with Troy Aikman)
Succeeded by
Troy Aikman
Preceded by
John Madden
NBC Sunday Night Football game analyst
Succeeded by

Template:Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Analyst

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