Keith Jackson, who was widely regarded as the voice of college football by several generations, died late Friday night, his family said. He was 89.
Jackson, who retired in 2006, spent some 50 years calling the action in a folksy, down-to-earth manner that made him one of the most popular play-by-play personalities in the business.
“For generations of fans, Keith Jackson was college football,” said Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “When you heard his voice, you knew it was a big game. Keith was a true gentleman and a memorable presence. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Turi Ann, and his family.”
Jackson got his start on the radio in 1952, broadcasting Washington State games, but went on to provide the national television soundtrack for the biggest games in the most storied stadiums. His colorful expressions — “Whoa, Nellie” and “Big Uglies” among the many — became part of the college football lexicon.