College football icon Keith Jackson dead at 89

Published: Saturday, January 13, 2018
ABC television sports commentator Keith Jackson reads through a checklist prior to the Nebraska-California football game Saturday, Sept. 11, 1999 in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/S.E. McKee)
ABC television sports commentator Keith Jackson reads through a checklist prior to the Nebraska-California football game Saturday, Sept. 11, 1999 in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/S.E. McKee)

SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Keith Jackson, the down-home voice of college football during more than five decades as a broadcaster, has died. He was 89.

He died Friday and no cause was given in a statement Saturday by ESPN. Jackson's longtime employer was ABC Sports. From 1977-85, he teamed with then-Arkansas athletics director Frank Broyles to announce the network's featured game of the week.

Jackson covered many sports, but he was best known for college football. His signature phrases like "Whoa, Nelly!" gave his game calls a familiar feel.

Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger says Jackson "was college football" for generations of fans.

Jackson retired after the 2006 Rose Bowl and is a member of the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

Jackson was a longtime resident of Sherman Oaks, California, and Pender Harbor, British Columbia. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Turi Ann.

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