“Mr College Football”, legendary football announcer Keith Jackson died on Friday. He was 89.
Keith Jackson was the voice of college football for more than a half-century for ABC Sports.
Jackson, forever remembered for his signature “Whoa, Nellie” call, died Friday night surrounded by his family, according to NBC Sports’ Todd Harris.
“The voice of college football and so much more has left us,” Harris wrote on Twitter Saturday morning. “Truly one of the greats in the broadcasting industry. I am grateful for my time with a true legend. Thank you for the lessons KJ.”
Jackson spent 56 years broadcasting college football, including 15 Rose Bowls. His final game before he retired was the 2006 thriller between USC and Texas at the famed game in Pasadena. It was Jackson who proclaimed the Rose Bowl “The Grandaddy of Them All.” The stadiums TV and radio booths were renamed “The Keith Jackson Broadcast Center” in 2005.
Jackson, who was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1999, was also honored by both the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame (1994) and the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame (1995).
A native of Georgia, Jackson served in the Marine Corps before attending Washington State University where the broadcast building was renamed in his honor in 2014.
“Incredibly saddened to hear the loss of a broadcasting legend, the voice of college football across the Country, and WSU Cougar great, Keith Jackson,” his alma mater tweeted. “His impact will live on forever.”
“I want to be remembered as a good ol’ boy who married a gorgeous lady and we had a great life together,” Jackson told writer Bill Plaschke in 2015.