Childhood & Early Life
Christopher Jon Weinke was born on July 31, 1972, in St. Paul, Minnesota, to Ron Weinke and Betty Weinke.
He attended Cretin-Derham Hall High School where he emerged as a sporting star and played for the baseball team as the first base. Later he became an all-state baseball player, and was drafted in the second round of the 1990 Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft by the Toronto Blue Jays.
In high school, he was also the captain of the hockey team, and played in the football team as the quarterback, and was the top senior quarterback in the country. He made it to the ‘Parade’ magazine and ‘USA Today’s All-America selection, and was named Minnesota's Prep Football Player of the Year.
Over 70 Division 1 schools including Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, Miami, Washington, and Wisconsin, wanted to recruit him but he finally signed a letter of intent to play for the Florida State Seminoles of Florida State University. In between, he took a break from college to sign a contract to play baseball for the Toronto Blue Jays minor league baseball system. He later graduated with a degree in Sports.
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Chris Weinke accepted a scholarship to join the Florida State University in 1997 and joined the Florida State Seminoles football team as a quarterback. In 1998, he led the team to a 9–1 record and claimed No. 2 national ranking. However, a neck injury during the Virginia game before the season ended forced him to take rest till the end of the season.
In 1999, while he was in his junior season, he led the Seminoles—then ranked No. 1—to the school's first national championship, where they defeated Michael Vick and the Virginia Tech Hokies 46-29.
In 2000, when he was a senior, he threw for more than 4,000 yards for the Seminoles, and won the Heisman Trophy for being the college’s best football player.
He then headed the Seminoles to the Orange Bowl for the third BCS National Championship match, where they lost to the Oklahoma Sooners by 13-2. He finished his Florida State University career with a 32-3 record. He also holds several university records like most passing yards in a career and most career touchdown passes.
In 2001, his jersey was retired, making him the seventh Seminole and the second quarterback to achieve such an honor. He was a two-time ACC All-Academic Team selection.
In 2001, the Carolina Panthers drafted him with a fourth-round pick. Chris and the Panthers opened the season with a win, but then lost 15 games in a row. The poor record led to the firing of their coach George Seifert. Weinke ended the season with an average of 36 pass attempts per game.
Chris played for five more years with the Panthers as a backup. In October 2005, he replaced starter Jake Delhomme (who was injured) against the Detroit Lions, and gave the Panthers a 21-20 win over the Lions.
On December 10, 2006, in a game against the New York Giants, he threw for 423 yards, which became a single-game team record that remained unbeaten for five years. He started the next two games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons, and won against Atlanta, his second win as a starter in the NFL. However, the Panthers had lost 17 games that he had started—15 in 2001, and two in 2006.
He left the Panthers to sign with San Francisco 49ers on December 12, 2007. He played one season for San Francisco 49ers. He started the final game of the 2007 season in a 20-7 loss to Cleveland Browns. He was not hired by the 49ers for the 2008 season.
After his retirement, Chris Weinke settled in Austin, Texas, with his family, and worked as a vice-president in marketing and event planning for Triton Financial.
In 2010, he became the director of the IMG Madden Football Academy in Bradenton, Florida, which offers football-training programs. In 2011, he worked part-time with the Carolina Panthers' number one draft pick Cam Newton during the NFL lockout.
In February 2015, he was recruited as the quarterbacks coach of the St. Louis Rams. He terminated his employment with the Rams in January 2017, and was replaced by Greg Olson. In March 2017, he joined the University of Alabama coaching staff as an offensive analyst.