Keith Jackson, Legendary 'Voice of College Football,' Dies at 89

Keith Jackson Always Found the Words

Keith Jackson Always Found the Words

Sportscaster Keith Jackson, known as the "voice of college football" for his decades of broadcasting the game on ABC, died Friday night at the age of 89, according to multiple media reports.

Jackson was awarded the Gold Medal Award by the National Football Foundation in 1999, and the Rose Bowl stadium's TV booth has been named in his honor. During his expansive career, Jackson also called the Olympics, NFL, MLB, NBA, PGA Tour golf, boxing, racing and college basketball.

He was well-known for his supposedly signature phrase, "Whoa, Nellie!" although Jackson repeatedly denied over the years that the phrase was a catchphrase of his and stated he had learned it from earlier television announcer Dick Lane.

Referred to as "the voice of college football", he called games for 50 years with ABC Sports until retiring in 2006.

"Incredibly saddened to hear the loss of a broadcasting legend, the voice of college football across the Country, and WSU Cougar great, Keith Jackson", the school's football program said on Twitter. "Can close my eyes and think of so many of his special calls".

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Kirk Herbstreit said in a tweet that Jackson was "everyone's favorite CFB broadcaster".

Rest in peace, Keith Jackson, and thanks for all of the memories. The University of Michigan's stadium, he's credited with saying, is "The Big House". "One of the greatest to ever do it". In the 80s, he was seemingly on the call for every big Notre Dame game and then in the 90s he was there for the 1993 Sugar Bowl between Miami and Alabama and then for the 1997 Sugar Bowl between Florida State and Florida.

"For generations of fans, Keith Jackson was college football", said Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, which owns ABC. "And the older I got the more willing I was to go back into the Southern vernacular because some of it's amusing", Jackson said. "His impact will live on forever".

He will remembered for that and so much more.

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