Legendary Broadcaster Keith Jackson Has Passed Away

Keith Jackson, legendary college football announcer, dies at 89

Jackson's broadcast career began at Washington State in 1952 when he called a game between Washington State and Stanford, but it was just the first of many stops for the legendary voice.

Broadcaster Keith Jackson reportedly passed away Friday night surrounded by friends and family. In the days before cable and monstrous television packages where almost every top-level college football game is televised, the ABC 3:30 p.m. ET game was appointment viewing for many college football fans as it was traditionally the weekend's marquee game.

A native of Georgia, Jackson's southern drawl fit perfectly with the sport. "Thank you for the lessons KJ". After several years in radio, he joined ABC Sports in 1966.

He covered everything from minor league baseball games to the Olympics during his 50-year run as a sports broadcaster.

Keith Jackson (center) receiving a Touchdown Club award in 1978. Jackson called the 2006 BCS Championship, featuring Texas and USC.

His final game ended up being the 2006 Rose Bowl, the thrilling national-title showdown between USC and Texas that saw Vince Young and the Longhorns prevail over the Trojans and their two Heisman Trophy winners, Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush, with 19 seconds remaining. Jackson was synonymous with the Rose Bowl as well as his catch phrase, "Whoa Nellie". He's credited with giving the Rose Bowl it's "Granddaddy of Them All" nickname as well as christening Michigan Stadium with its "Big House" moniker.

Jackson retired from his duties in the booth following the 2005 season.

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