Keith Jackson, legendary college football announcer, dies at age 89

Iconic college football announcer Keith Jackson dies

Besides college football, Jackson also covered other sports games in the National Basketball Association, golf, MLB, NFL and the Olympics. The next year he moved to the network's television branch and joined ABC's college football broadcasting team.

He is credited with coining the phrase "The Big House" for Michigan Stadium and calling the Rose Bowl "the Granddaddy of them all".

Survivors include his wife, Turi Ann Johnsen and children Melanie Ann, Lindsey and Christopher and grandchildren.

Jackson, forever remembered for his signature "Whoa, Nellie" call, died Friday night surrounded by his family, according to NBC Sports' Todd Harris.

The sports world, including Jackson's alma mater, Washington State University, were quick to mourn him.

"I would go around and pluck things off the bush and see if I could find a different way to say some things".

"Just heard the news that everyone's favorite CFB broadcaster Keith Jackson passed away last night", sportscaster and former Ohio State quarterback Kirk Herbstreit said on Twitter.

The phrase he was most associated with-and the one used by anyone who ever did a Keith Jackson impersonation-was "Whoa, Nellie!"

When Jackson retired 12 years ago, he told the New York Times, "I'm 77 and I feel it", adding he hated the on-air mistakes that started to creep into his usually flawless work.

Jackson was born October 18, 1928, in Carrollton, Ga., a small town near the Georgia-Alabama border.

Although versatile, it was college football for which Jackson was best known.

He was so entrenched in college football, that ABC wouldn't let him retire the first time he tried.

Jackson's sportscasting career began in Washington in the early '50s, and covered a variety of sports events, including minor league baseball and hydroplane races.

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