A standout in professional football, sports broadcasting and philanthropic efforts, Cris Collinsworth is one of Brevard County’s favorite sons.
A native of Dayton, Ohio, Collinsworth was a four-sport athlete at Astronaut High School in Titusville, playing baseball, basketball and football and running for the track & field team. He was a four-year letterman in basketball, and was a first-team all-state guard in 1977. Collinsworth also excelled on the track, lettering for three years and winning the state title in the 100-yard dash in 1976.
Collinsworth was a four-year letterman in football and received a host of honors, including becoming the first All-America selection from Astronaut, earning the honor from Parade, Scholastic Coach, Joe Namath Prep and Kickoff magazines. He was an all-state quarterback twice and an All-Southern first-team quarterback in 1976.
Collinsworth accepted a football scholarship from the University of Florida and quickly became an integral part of the Gator offense as a wide receiver. He was an All-SEC first-team selection for three years and was an All-American. Collinsworth was an all-conference academic team member from 1978-1980 and was Florida’s representative for SEC Athlete of the Year.
A second-round NFL draft choice for the Cincinnati Bengals in 1981, Collinsworth was named the AFC Rookie of the Year by NBC Sports. He was an All-Pro selection from 1981-1983, and played for the 1982 and 1989 Super Bowl teams. Collinsworth is currently second on the Bengals’ all-time list for receivers with 417 catches for 6,698 yards.
Collinsworth retired from professional football in 1989. He received a degree in law from the University of Cincinnati in 1991. Collinsworth has since become a top name in sports broadcasting, reporting and co-hosting for HBO’s "Inside the NFL" and serving as an analyst for NBC and Fox. He received two Emmy Awards for outstanding Sports Personality/Analyst for NBC’s pregame show in 1997 and 1998.
Collinsworth is also a philanthropist. He is responsible for ten $1,000 scholarships to high school students in Brevard County, and sponsors a golf tournament in Gainesville to raise funds for mental health research. Collinsworth is a member of the board of directors for Camp Stepping Stone for handicapped children, and buys gifts for the Cincinnati Orphanage each Christmas.
Collinsworth is a member of the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame, Florida Sports Hall of Fame and National High School Hall of Fame. He and his wife, Holly, live in Kentucky with their four children.