Chris Rix tried on those shoes as soon as he set foot on campus in Tallahassee. They might not have fit perfectly, but Rix walked out of the store with his fresh new kicks. He wore them for the next four years.
Rix's college football career was filled with ups and downs both on and off the field, but he has a place in FSU history as the only four-year starter under head coach Bobby Bowden. Also, let's not let Florida Gator fans forget the 2003 Rix to Sam play that made "The Swindle in the Swamp" a classic.
It's been 20 years since Rix took his first snap at Florida State. What is he doing now?
Chris Rix Florida State
UAB vs #5 Florida State (2001) pic.twitter.com/vYIsd1Cnlh
— College Football Classics (@ClassicsCFB) January 10, 2021
Rix was a high school standout in the Los Angeles area before joining the Florida State football team. The Southern California kid earned the starting job as a freshman and didn't let go.
His young career was a rollercoaster of highs and lows. Most notably, he made headlines when he overslept for an exam as a sophomore. Bowden set an example by suspending his starting quarterback for the 2003 Sugar Bowl against Georgia.
Rix had his best season as a junior, when he threw for 3,107 yards and led the Seminoles to the Orange Bowl against the Miami Hurricanes. Although, the year wasn't without controversy. The 'Noles QB caught flak when he used an unauthorized handicap parking tag on campus and played it off like it wasn't a big deal.
The Florida State Seminoles QB suffered an ankle injury in the third game of his senior season against ACC foe Clemson. The injury, combined with inconsistent play, led Rix to split time with Wyatt Sexton.
Rix left Tallhassee as the program's second all-time leading passer with 8,390 yards and 63 touchdowns against 40 interceptions.
Chris Rix Now
Rix had a short-lived NFL career with the San Diego Chargers before moving into sports broadcasting. He's worked in several capacities for FOX Sports and ESPN, calling high school and NCAA football games on TV and the radio as well as serving as a sideline reporter for some NFL games.
The 40-year-old former Florida State quarterback primarily focuses on his job as the Director of Ministry for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a role he's been in in since 2010. Rix also owns and operated Champion Training Academy—a private coaching company focused on quarterbacks.
Rix may not have been the most popular guy at Doak Campbell Stadium or on Warchant.com, but he's found new life as a coach, husband, father and broadcaster in his post-playing career.
He's had plenty of time to reflect on his image at FSU since hanging up the cleats, too.
"I hope it wasn't parking in a handicap spot or missing an exam and bowl game, which still hurts to this day," Rix told Tallahassee Magazine of his legacy at FSU. "That's the lowest point of my career; more than losing to Miami, it was letting my team, coaches and fans down. The bottom line is, I missed a test and I had to miss a game.
"It's about balance. It's not always easy to balance everything, but I'm very blessed to be doing things that I'm passionate about that involve sports and ministry as well as relationships. Over the years I have learned to value relationships more and am fortunate to be involved in things that all focus on relationships, whether it be coaching through Champion, sportscasting, ministry with FCA. I never thought I'd be a coach because I wasn't the most coachable player, but as you grow, learn and mature, you wish you would have listened to more of your coaches and the things that they teach you."
Rix doesn't have a Heisman like Weinke and Charlie Ward or a national championship, but he's grown and made amends. FSU even welcomed him onto the sideline during the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl against Notre Dame.
Regardless of opinion, Rix is a Seminole for life.
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