By JOE REEDY
AP Sports Writer
Jac Collinsworth was emerging as a rising star at ESPN, but returning to NBC and being part of its Olympics coverage was too hard to turn down.
The NBC Sports Group announced on Wednesday that Collinsworth is returning later this month. His specific assignments will be announced in the coming weeks but they are expected to include the Olympics, Notre Dame football and the NFL. Collinsworth worked for NBC from 2013-17, on sideline production for Notre Dame football as a student and then as NBC Olympics’ social media correspondent for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. He also was an intern for the network’s late night Olympics show with Ryan Seacrest.
“When I was in Rio they had a structure built on the beach. Watching and working with Seacrest, I can remember thinking it would cool covering every Olympics,” Collinsworth said.
Collinsworth, the son of NBC Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth, had been with ESPN since 2017. He anchored “NFL Live” as well as doing segments for “NFL Countdown.” He also was host of “The Huddle” on the ACC Network last year.
Collinsworth reiterated that it was a tough decision to leave ESPN.
“In the back of my mind I always wondered what it would be like to work there and what stood out is they created a great team atmosphere,” he said.
Collinsworth has a long history working with NBC Sports executive producer Sam Flood. While hosting and helping to produce the ND Live digital series, Collinsworth would get production notes and feedback from Flood.
The addition of the younger Collinsworth also means the possibility that father and son could work together on some NFL features, which could confuse viewers at times since both have similar voices.
“Jac’s work at Notre Dame, NBC Sports, and ESPN has led to almost daily jokes all over the country about me being the second-best broadcaster in our family,” Cris Collinsworth said. “I love it. I’m so proud of Jac and can’t wait to work with him.”
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