Anthony Cris Collinsworth (born January 27, 1959) is a former professional American football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for eight seasons, all with the Cincinnati Bengals, during the 1980s. He played college football for the University of Florida, and was recognized as an All-American. He is currently a television sportscaster for NBC, Showtime, and the NFL Network and winner of 15 Sports Emmy Awards. He is also the owner of Pro Football Focus, a sports statistic monitoring service.
Collinsworth in 2017
January 27, 1959 |
|Height:||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight:||192 lb (87 kg)|
|High school:||Titusville (FL) Astronaut|
|NFL Draft:||1981 / Round: 2 / Pick: 37|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Collinsworth was born in Dayton, Ohio, the son of Abraham Lincoln "Abe" Collinsworth (who was born on Abraham Lincoln's birthday) and his wife, Donetta Browning Collinsworth. 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 high school teacher and coach who later became a principal and eventually an assistant superintendent.
The family, which also included Collinsworth's brother, moved to Titusville, Florida in 1963, when Cris was four years old. He grew up there and attended Astronaut High School, where his father was the principal. Cris Collinsworth was a 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.
Collinsworth's exceptional height and speed attracted the attention of college football coaches throughout the South. He accepted 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. He was recruited as a quarterback 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.
He later switched to wide receiver as the Gators transitioned from a run-oriented option offense to an offensive scheme that employed more passing. As a 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-America, and a team captain in 1980. During his career at Florida, he caught 120 passes for 1,937 yards and 14 touchdowns. He scored two rushing touchdowns, one on a kickoff return, and threw two touchdown passes. He also returned 30 kickoffs for 726 yards for an average of 24.2 yards per return.
As a senior in 1980, Collinsworth was a member of the Gators team that posted the biggest one-year turnaround in NCAA Division I football history at the time, improving from 0–10–1 in 1979 to 8–4 in 1980, as Collinsworth finished his collegiate career by being named the MVP of the 1980 Tangerine Bowl.
While he was an undergraduate, Collinsworth was an active member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity (Florida Alpha Omega Chapter), and was inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame. 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. 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.
Collinsworth was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round (37th pick overall) of the 1981 NFL Draft, and spent his entire eight-year NFL career with the Bengals. 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 1985, Collinsworth signed with the Tampa Bay Bandits of the United States Football League (USFL), 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.
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.
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. He worked on Fox's Super Bowl XXXIX telecast three years later. Collinsworth was also the host of the television show Guinness World Records Primetime during his stay at Fox.
In 2006, Collinsworth could be seen on three networks during football season. 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. 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.
In the NBC broadcasts of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Collinsworth appeared alongside Bob Costas as a commentator on numerous occasions. Collinsworth and Costas paired again during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. He also continued his work on Inside the NFL when it debuted on its new home on Showtime.
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.
Collinsworth earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1991. He currently lives in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, with his wife, Holly (Bankemper) Collinsworth, an attorney, and their four children. His son, Austin Collinsworth, is a former football player and team captain at the University of Notre Dame, from which he earned an MBA in Investments.
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 Brent Spence Bridge that links Ohio to Kentucky. Collinsworth also has a steak named after him by the same restaurant.
- 1980 College Football All-America Team
- Florida Gators football, 1970–79
- Florida Gators football, 1980–89
- History of the Cincinnati Bengals
- List of Alpha Tau Omega brothers
- List of Florida Gators football All-Americans
- List of Florida Gators football players in the NFL
- List of University of Cincinnati people
- List of University of Florida alumni
- "Cris Collinsworth wins 15th Emmy, gets animated".
- "Once a customer, Collinsworth now owns football site".
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- Alex Weprin, "Cris Collinsworth Tapped To Replace Madden," Broadcasting & Cable (April 16, 2009). Retrieved March 22, 2011.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- University of Notre Dame, Football, Roster, Austin Collinsworth. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
- Michael McCarthy, "Cris Collinsworth rescued from runaway floating restaurant," USA Today (March 12, 2011). Retrieved March 22, 2011.
- "Cris Collinsworth among 83 rescued". ESPN.com. ESPN. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-26. Retrieved 2013-12-26.
- "RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project: Footprints Through Time". wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com.
- NFL, PAT DOOLEY On the. "Collinsworth still talking a good game".
- 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.