Astronaut High’s Cris Collinsworth; Winner Of Multiple Emmy Awards, NFL Pro Bowler

By  //  January 16, 2017

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SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME

ABOVE VIDEO: Cris Collinsworth is among Brevard County’s greatest four-sport athletes as he starred in football, basketball, track and field and baseball for Astronaut High School.

CRIS COLLINSWORTH – 2012 INDUCTEE

Chris Collinsworth

Chris Collinsworth

• Prep Football All-American
• Pro Bowl & Super Bowl
• Emmy Award Winner

MAN AMONG BOYS

Cris Collinsworth is among Brevard County’s greatest four-sport athletes as he starred in football, basketball, track and field and baseball for Astronaut High School.

Playing quarterback for the War Eagle’s outstanding coach Jay Donnelly, he was also named to the all-state team in basketball during his senior year, and won the 100-yard dash in the Class 3A State Track and Field Championships as a junior.

Longtime team doctor Ben Story checks on former War Eagle, Florida Gator and Cincinnati Bengal star, Chris Collinsworth.  (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

His father, Abe Collinsworth, who played for a national championship basketball team under Adolph Rupp at the University of Kentucky, was his high school principal.

In track, Collinsworth, who graduated from Astronaut in 1977, posted a state championship winning time of 10.0 seconds in the 100 as the 6-foot-5 Collinsworth out-leaned the competition at the tape.

The FHSAA named him an all-state quarterback on two occasions and he was named the All-Southern first-team quarterback for his play during his senior season with the War Eagles.

Collinsworth earned prep football All-America honors from Parade, Scholastic Coach, Joe Namath Prep and Kickoff magazines.

The FHSAA named him an all-state quarterback on two occasions and he was named the All-Southern first-team quarterback for his play during his senior season with the War Eagles.

Despite a cordial chat with legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, who wanted him to be his option quarterback, and a recruiting pitch from eventual Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath, Collinsworth chose to play quarterback for coach Doug Dickey at the University of Florida.

In his first game, Collinsworth tied a collegiate record with a 99-yard scoring pass to Derrick Gaffney.

QB TO WIDE RECEIVER

A broken hand slowed Collinsworth his first season as he moved to wide receiver for his sophomore season, and began a three-year stretch where he would be named All-Southeastern Conference first-team each season.

As a sophomore, Collinsworth caught 39 passes for 745 yards and nine touchdowns. He also carried the ball 18 times for 100 yards. The Gators struggled the next season but Collinsworth caught 41 passes for 593 yards and two touchdowns despite Florida finishing 0-10-1.

The following season Collinsworth led the way in one of the biggest turnarounds in NCAA college football history as Florida finished 8-4. Collinsworth, a senior, had 40 receptions for 599 yards and three touchdowns.

He finished his outstanding career at Florida with 120 receptions for 1,937 yards and 14 touchdowns.

SUPER BOWL, PRO BOWL

CRIS COLLINSWORTH made the cover of SI as a NFL rookie.

CRIS COLLINSWORTH made the cover of SI as a NFL rookie.

Some NFL scouts thought Collinsworth was too slight at 6-foot-5 and 192 pounds to withstand the rigors of the NFL, which allowed the Cincinnati Bengals to take him in the second round of the 1981 NFL Draft with the 37th overall pick.

Collinsworth made an immediate impact with 67 receptions for 1,009 yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie – and was also named to the Pro Bowl and played in the Super Bowl in which he had five receptions for 107 yards against the San Francisco 49ers.

Collinsworth played in his second Super Bowl during his final season in 1988. In 107 regular-season games in the NFL, 90 of them starts, Collinsworth had 417 receptions for 6,698 yards and 36 touchdowns.

EMMY AWARD WINNING BROADCASTER

Cris Collinsworth has won five Emmy Awards fro broadcasting excellence. (NBC image)

Collinsworth, who received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Florida in 1981, earned his law degree from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Law in 1991.

He began his broadcasting career as a sports radio talk show host for WLW in Cincinnati and later became a reporter for HBO’s Inside the NFL in 1989.

Collinsworth has been both a studio host and color commentator for NBC, Fox and the NFL Network. He also was part of NBC’s broadcast team for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Collinsworth, who was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1959, has won five Emmy Awards. He and his wife Holly have four children. His son, Austin, played football at the University of Notre Dame.

THE 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 12 with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. – and dinner and ceremony at 7 p.m.

For information about the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017, or to make a nomination, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com

Cris-Collingsworth-580-2

Cris Collinsworth is among Brevard County’s greatest four-sport athletes as he starred in football, basketball, track and field and baseball for Astronaut High School.


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